tunisie, unime
Success story
made in Tunisie
Since the revolution, Proparco has also been supporting Tunisian entrepreneurs alongside financial institutions.

One of its most successful projects to date is its partnership with the pharmaceuticals lab Unimed. Addressing the niche market of sterile-injectable medication (e.g., ophthalmic and ENT solutions, eye drops), Unimed has developed a business model based on producing generic drugs sold under the Unimed brand name and manufacturing medication for international laboratories. To win supply contracts from Thea, Pfizer and other similar firms, the company has built up one of Africa’s most efficient drug manufacturing facilities, earning ISO 9001, 13485 and 1001 certification.

unimed, tunisie
unimed, tunisie
Unimed recorded 16% annual revenue growth in the period from 2011 to 2014. “In the post-revolutionary environment, which proved detrimental to many companies, that gives you an idea of our financial health,” comments Mr Azaiez, visibly delighted. Unimed today ranks among the top ten Tunisian manufacturers in terms of sales, with 40% of the total earned from exports. For the future, Mr Azaiez has two basic objectives: “Take Unimed’s specialization to a higher level and derive 50% of our revenue from exports five years down the road.” Based on the company’s track record, Proparco has elected to sell its shares ahead of the public listing of Unimed on the Tunis Stock Exchange.
unimed, tunisie
In 2011, Proparco invested €4.5m in Unimed, alongside the Abraaj Group investment fund. The aim was to help the company ramp up its production capacity. Proparco also co-financed a technical assistance programme in 2013 for the installation of a high-efficiency combined cycle power production process, referred to as trigeneration. The system, which will be operational by the end of 2016, will enable Unimed to optimize its power use and “even sell excess power during production peaks to the national electric power company”, admits Rached Azaiez, the Chief Technology Officer. “Unimed is engaged in a daily drive to instil a quality-based culture in its staff members and embed a process of continuous improvement. Our partnership with Proparco is also grounded in the sharing of experience. The trigeneration project, and in broader terms our efforts to streamline energy consumption, would never have come about if it hadn’t been for our lively exchanges with the people at Proparco.”