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May 2015
New services as Pill Pharmacy and Post Office moves home.
First published Monday 26 January 2015 in Business News by Jo Barnes A Newport pharmacist and postmaster is moving into new premises and expanding the services on offer. Asim Ali, owner of OCI Consulting, which runs Pill Pharmacy and Post Office, has bought and redeveloped two properties on Commercial Road with help from NatWest. Now he is asking the community of Pill to tell him what else they would like to see the business provide. “We have been in Pill since 2005 and have built up the business with the support of the local community,” said Asim, who sponsors Pill Football Club. “Pill has a great community spirit and it’s a great place to work. Everyone is on first name terms. “We want to say thank-you very much for everyone’s help and support, and now it is time for us to give back. We want people to be involved in how this business progresses. Tell us what you want and we will try to bring the service in.” Asim has bought adjoining properties and carried out major redevelopment work, rebuilding almost the entire building and restoring it to its Victorian splendour. The pharmacy and Post Office are next door to one another but accessed through the same door, and treatment rooms with a waiting area have been added behind. The new home for the pharmacy and Post Office is just along the road from its original location. “We needed more space to provide additional services to the community,” said Asim. “We will be offering a travel clinic including vaccinations and malaria advice, and treatments including physiotherapy, podiatry, massage and alternative therapies.” The business already employs 19 staff and Asim hopes to take on up to five more thanks to the expansion. Asim worked with NatWest relationship manager Chris Pascoe, who specialises in the healthcare sector, to secure borrowing towards the purchase and redevelopment of the buildings. “Chris is fantastic,” said Asim. “A friend was banking with him and I approached him with what I wanted to do and asked if he could support it. He was very quick off the mark and said yes. Moving my banking to work with Chris and NatWest has been the best decision ever. “To have somebody who understands the business inside and out makes everything so much easier. He is very supportive and is a great problem solver – he has ideas about how we should be improving the business. He is the best bank manager I have ever worked with. I could not have done this without him.” Chris said: “Asim’s vision for the future complements perfectly the regeneration work going on in Pill, and these new facilities will be future-proof and fit for purpose. It’s an impressive development and will be a huge asset to the community. I’m delighted that NatWest has been able to support Asim to bring it to fruition and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
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