The seed was planted during one doctor’s miserable late-night search for medicine. Seven years later, it has blossomed into Apotek K-24, the fastest-growing drugstore brand in Indonesia.

“I could not sleep because of the flu,” said Gideon Hartono, a medical doctor, of that fateful night.

“I saw in the newspaper there was a drugstore that was open 24 hours. I went there, but it turned out there was no one on standby. I had to wait. The price of the medicine that I needed was also more expensive late at night.”

The less-than-satisfactory experience prompted Gideon to start his own drugstore chain.

The business plan for Apotek K-24? Stay open at all times and offer a guaranteed complete stock of medicines at fixed prices, regardless of the time of day or night.

“K refers to komplit , or complete, which explains that our drugstores have a complete supply of medicine and multivitamins, and 24 refers to our stores being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on public holidays,” he said.

Gideon graduated from Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta in 1990, and worked as a civil service doctor at the Health Department for 17 years before deciding to start Apotek K-24.

The chain has 165 outlets across the country, including more than 50 in Greater Jakarta, and ranks third nationally in total outlets.