From humble beginnings to a proud heritage, Vitex Pharmaceuticals’ story began in 1989.
Elie Chami, now company Chairman, emigrated from post-war Lebanon to Sydney in the 1970s when he was 16 years old. Having immersed himself in the local culture for almost two decades, he believed there was significant potential in introducing Australian quality standards of complementary medicines to the Arab world — at the time an emerging market for therapeutic products. In 1989, Elie and his son Aniss established Vitex International Services and began exporting Australian made complementary medicine to the Middle East and Arabian Gulf region.
The company has since vertically integrated with the launch of manufacturing and packing capabilities. In the last five years, the company has invested significant capital to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities, and to refurbish the current facility.
With the increasing demand for high-quality Australian manufactured complementary medicine, in 2017 the company opened the single largest facility of its kind in the country. As one of the largest and most state-of-the-art in Australia, the advanced manufacturing plant aims to offer local and international brands the technology available today.
Chairman Elie Chami emigrated from post-war Lebanon in the 1970s at 16 years of age. Having immersed in the local culture for almost two decades, he believed there was significant potential in introducing Australian quality in complementary medicines to the Arab world. Enlisting the help of this eldest son, Aniss Chami, he established Vitex International Services in 1989 and began exporting Australian-made complementary medicine to the Middle East and Arabian Gulf region with export offices in Lebanon and Kuwait.
After half a decade of exponential growth, Vitex becomes recognised by both national and international authorities as Australia’s largest supplier of complementary medicines to the Arabian Gulf and Middle Eastern therapeutic markets.
The growth of Vitex in the Arabian Gulf and Middle Eastern therapeutic markets expanded into the neighbouring African continent. Vitex’s efforts were initially focused on the northern African markets of Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria.
After achieving significant market share in north Africa, Vitex then turned its attention to central and southern African markets such as Benin, Nigeria, Gabon and Burkina Faso.
Growing sales determined the future direction of the business with the integration of the supply chain to improve the quality of the packaging and maintain the efficiency of service.
Vitex’s new vision was first realised by the purchase and refurbishment of a warehouse unit in the newly developed commercial district of Prestons in New South Wales. This site would become the engine that propelled Vitex into the manufacturer that it is today. The facility was outfitted to perform both blister sealing and bottle filling operations under contract for national and international clients. Elie Chami’s wife Robine and their three other children Latify, Lucie and Anthony Chami began to play an active role in the business as they expanded operations to pack their goods launching a division called Vitex Packaging Services.
Following an overwhelming positive appraisal on the quality and efficiency of their packed medicines, the family were quick to see the advantages of vertically integrating the supply chain even further. The strategic decision to expand into manufacturing led to significant improvements in the value chain including marked reductions in product costing, synchronisation of supply and demand, improvements in manufacturing consistency, and, ultimately gave Vitex the independence to pursue its modern-day vision of becoming one of the Australia’s leading manufacturers of pharmaceutical products.
The expansion under their new division called Vitex Manufacturing Services saw their capabilities increase to include the manufacture of non-sterile solid dose medicines (i.e. tablets, powders, hardgel and softgel capsules). The company revamped its facilities, systems, equipment and outlook to meet their next chapter of growth.
In 2010, the company integrated their three trading divisions Vitex Manufacturing Services, Vitex Packaging Services and Vitex International Services and united them under one flagship known today as Vitex Pharmaceuticals. Vitex revamped its facilities, systems and equipment to meet the next chapter in its growth.
The decision entailed the amalgamation of personnel, facilities, systems and equipment to ensure clients receive a reliable and constant service from a single entity.
Vitex revamped its facilities, systems, equipment, outlook and even its long standing logo to meet the next chapter in growth. Senior Management formally announced the construction of a new purpose-built facility featuring the latest technological advancements in pharmaceutical manufacturing to keep up with demand.
The advanced manufacturing plant is Australia’s largest facility in the manufacture of tablets and softgel capsules.
As part of Vitex’s innovation strategy, the acquisition of custom-designed technologically advanced equipment has been a core advantage for the company. The efficiencies of the equipment have been enhanced to ensure even greater output through Vitex-specifically engineered requirements – leading to quicker turnaround and speed to market than the competition. Additional features of the facility include a lecture theatre, gymnasium, meditation/prayer room and indoor/outdoor eating areas.
The Chami family continue to run the business and are heavily involved in the day-to-day operations.