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Elie and his son Aniss. Elie and his son Aniss. Featured
22 February 2018 Posted by 

SMALL IMPORTER TO GLOBAL LEADER

Extraordinary story of Vitex International
RED DWYER
OWNERS of a pharmaceutical firm have turned a small importer into a global leader in the contract manufacturing of complementary medicine products.

Elie Chami emigrated from post-war Lebanon to Sydney in the 1970s when he was 16 years old and over time saw the potential in exporting high quality products.

So in 1989, Elie and his son Aniss established Vitex International Services with an aim, in time, of integrating its operations and becoming a manufacturer.

Fast forward to 2017, the company has now established a $100M pharmaceutical factory, at Eastern Creek, to meet the increasing demand for high-quality Australian manufactured complementary medicine.

Built over seven months, the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant is, at 26,000 square metres, the single largest facility of its kind in the country offering local and international brands the technology available today.

“Our business flourished because of a lot of international demand for Australian-made complimentary medicine,” said Vitex Pharmaceuticals, CEO, Dr Annis Chami, who succeeded his father as CEO, in March 2016; Elie Chami is now chairman and managing director.

“[That] will allow [Vitex] to manufacture close to 20 billion doses, tablets and capsules [annually], which should be able to supply a lot of international markets that have now become dependent on Australian-made complementary medicines.”

“This is a great Australian story of enterprise, investment and commitment,” said Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who opened the new headquarters, formerly at Prestons.

“What a great Australian family business story,” he said.

“We [have] achieved what I was dreaming for from day one when I first started.” founder Elie Chami said

The NSW Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair, was full of praise of the family’s $100 million investment.

“That’s what today is about, celebrating one of those companies that will continue to be a giant on the global scheme,” he said.

The Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, was also upbeat about the facility.

“The company’s new research lab will provide manufacturing and testing equipment to support clinical trials, research studies and new product development,” he said.

Highlighting the demand for Australian pharmaceutical products, the Australian Financial Review reported Dr Chami saying revenues at Vitex two years ago were running at around $10M, with the company budgeting for revenues to be above $100M in 2017-18.

"We will definitely consider in the future some type of public offering," Dr Chami said.

As vitamins are essential for the body’s general growth and development the “vitamins” Vitex has absorbed over three decades have contributed markedly to the Chami family’s entrepreneurial spirit.

 



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Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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