A little over a week ago, Vox wrote an article about an anti-hangover pill developed and marketed by Niels Pesser and his father. The article went viral and Niels, a medical student, was fielding questions left and right from journalists and potential clients. As a result, his side project quickly turned into a full-time job. What's the next step?
Who approached you and did you expect this kind of response?
‘I definitely didn’t expect this! After the Vox article, things started moving fast. At least thirty websites wrote about us and we were interviewed by twelve radio stations: 538, SlamFM!, Veronica… Editie NL devoted a piece to us and we were also on NOS Journaal and RTL Nieuws. Oh, and we’re also going to be interviewed by Gerard Ekdom on Radio 2.’
Publicity is great, but has the product generated any real interest?
‘There’s a lot of interest at the moment. We sold more that first night than we did the entire month before. It’s starting to slow down a bit now, but during our peak times we had about one order every minute. I’m trying to stay realistic; I realise we’re popular now because we went viral and that things will eventually quiet down. Although we do plan on producing more for the Christmas season and for carnival.’
Are you able to meet demand?
‘So far so good, but we’re starting to run low on inventory. We send the product to a manufacturer who turns it into pills. As a student with a small budget, I can’t afford huge quantities, which means stock is limited. We may even sell out at a certain point. We made some extra room in my father’s pharmacy so we could produce more for the holidays and carnival. With extra room and some helping hands, we now have things under control.’
Do you plan to quit your studies to work full-time?
‘Definitely not! I really want to be a doctor; that hasn’t changed. I’m trying not to link this project to Radboud and my residency because I don’t want people to see this as a scientific project. Zober! was not scientifically researched, which makes it very different from my university work. It’s more of a hobby. I love business and who knows, something may just come my way in the future. But for now, I’m 100% committed to finishing my degree!’
Click here to watch the Vox video.