The phone rang and I was startled to hear her voice. “Thank you for calling Kibow Biotech, how may I help you?” she asked. I couldn’t find words. After weeks of working remotely during COVID-19, I wasn’t used to the sound of a receptionist’s voice.
I laughed and explained why and she patiently connected me with Mahesh.
“Yes, I am at the office, we are open for business,” Mahesh replied when I asked. “We are busy.”
Mahesh Ranganathan, International Product Manager leads the international sales for his family-owned company Kibow Biotech, Inc. located in Newtown Square Pennsylvania.
“We have 20 employees here and currently 4 are in the office to field phone orders. We haven’t had any layoffs and in fact, we are looking to recruit additional marketing, sales and research associates.”
Founded in 1997 by Mahesh’s father, Dr. Rangan, Kibow Biotech researches and develops scientifically-formulated and clinically-tested probiotic dietary supplements for maintaining kidney health and boosting the immunity of the geriatric population by restoring their intestinal microflora.
The name Kibow was derived from KI – for Kidney and BOW – for bowels and the product line includes: Renadyl™, Kibow Fortis®, Kibow Flora™, and Azodyl™.
“We currently sell online and through other online distributors via amazon and their respective website. Not in brick and mortar. We sell to a 65 percent mix of consumers direct and about 35 percent to HealthCare professionals direct.”
During this COVID-19 pandemic, news reports repeatedly mention the need to maintain healthy immune systems to fight COVID-19. “We have seen renewed interest in our Kibow Flora and a slight increase in sales,” Mahesh confirms.
“Gut Microflora are responsible for boosting immunity and overall well-being of a person.”
Kibow’s website describes, Kibow Flora as providing a natural immune system boost. “Kibow Flora ™is a highly effective probiotic supplement that contains 30 billion live probiotic bacteria per capsule. Kibow Flora is 100% natural and is enteric coated to ensure that the probiotic bacteria are not destroyed by gastric or bile acids before they are released into the bowel.”
“We have a 14-day window for shipping but then our products need to be refrigerated. Many probiotics you find in stores don’t have the same potency as ours.”
Kibow’s highest selling product is Renadyl™, a natural supplement which helps to metabolize nitrogenous waste that has diffused from the bloodstream into the bowel.
“We’ve developed our products to serve niche markets. Older populations with kidney health issues and diabetes don’t have a lot of treatment options.”
Another Kibow product, Kibow Fortis® was developed as prebiotic to stimulate the growth of the “good” bacteria, namely, the lactobacilli and the bifidobacteria.
Azodyl™ is a Kibow product developed specifically for cats and dogs to slow down uremic toxin buildup and helps prevent kidney damage. The supplement is also distributed and marketed by a French company, Vétoquinol.
“The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia has been key with International Trade rep support and informational resources provided to help our international expansions efforts.”
The top international markets for Kibow include Mexico, India, and the Philippines, “there are a large diabetic population in these regions.”
“International sales via distribution average about 100,000 customers. We have about 25,000 US.”
In January 2020, Mahesh attended Arab Health, one of the largest healthcare trade shows in Dubai, “ I had no idea, what was happening. Germs discriminate and affect populations unequally. The virus is a hidden epidemic of weakened immune systems. Public policy must focus on people’s ability to withstand infection.”
Part of Kibow’s company vision statement, “is to advance the welfare of people globally by providing superior probiotic supplements.”
Kibow offers a phone ordering option for older populations that prefer speaking with a knowledgeable customer service representative.
And a friendly receptionist who answers the phone from an office during a pandemic.
By Graziella DiNuzzo