E-commerce companies battling over online pharma retail business

E-commerce companies battling over online pharma retail business
The Siliconreview
20 July, 2018

As online pharma retail industries are flourishing unexpectedly, it has become the next big thing in the online retail business. All the big e-commerce giants including Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket etc. are reportedly in talks to acquire, invest or partner in online pharma retailers to build a high-frequency play in India. Some of the online pharma companies in consideration for this are MedPlus, 1mg, Medlife, PharmEasy etc.

The online medicine delivery system is something in which all the big e-commerce players want to invest as it is a golden opportunity to expand their businesses given easy regulation in pharma retail sector, and profitable business as it involves repeat order from same customers. The interest in this sector has increased since the Indian Government has issued a draft policy for regulating the sector.

According to the sources, Medlife, run by a pharmaceutical company Alkem Labs, is in discussions with Amazon as well as Flipkart. Medplus is also a strong contender for this because of its network of 1,400 stores across India as well as its dominance in online delivery business.

Big basket and Swiggy are also looking to diversify their business and hence planning to partner with e-pharmacies to enter into medicine delivery as well. As all the discussions are in the preliminary stage, companies are denying to comment on it. “We may think of talking for financial investments at this stage. Acquisition is not on the cards”, said Dharmil Sheth, CEO of PharmEasy. Prashant Tandon, CEO of 1mg denies such conversations. Although it is too soon for companies to confirm the news, we can still expect tough competition in this sector soon!