Netmeds to open 3 fulfilment centres

Netmeds to open 3 fulfilment centres
In a bid to deliver medicines to customers quickly, online pharmacy company Netmeds is planning to open three more wholly owned fulfilment centres soon. “We have penetrated over one million households and delivered to over 750 cities, and are serving every PIN from Kanyakumari to Himachal Pradesh, utilising five wholly owned fulfilment centres in Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, with three more about to go online in Q1 2017, in Kolkata and Mumbai, and second centre in Delhi,” Netmeds.com Founder and CEO Pradeep Dadha told DH.

“We take two to four days to cater to the orders of tier II and tier III cities. Medicines pertaining to chronic illness, however, are delivered on or before time, as we keep a tab on all chronic illness medicines. With new centres, we can cater to more customers,” Dadha said.

Launched in 2014, Netmeds has secured Rs 324 crore ($50 million) in funding from a clutch of investors led by healthcare-focused investment firm OrbiMed and in the first tranche, the company received funds of Rs 65 crore ($10 million) from investors, which includes boutique investment bank MAPE Advisory Group.

Recently, Netmeds acquired Delhi-based hyperlocal delivery app for health and medical needs Pluss for an undisclosed amount. Pluss is backed by IDG Ventures. The startup offers discount range from 10% to 15% depending on the product, with pretty regular big discount days up to 20%.

When asked on target customers, Dadha explained, “Our major focus is on the chronic illness patients, both patients themselves and their caregivers. Diabetes, hypertension, cardio diseases, hyperlipidemia, are some of the conditions that require regular, and long-term therapy. Patients who take the same medication month-on-month are finding Netmeds.com to be an affordable, dependable and convenient source for their medicinal needs.”

“Apart from that we are filling a great demand for products in infant care and mother care categories, and are just launching a redesigned web and app for ayurvedic and naturals category, highlighting some of the country’s most loved brands, like Patanjali, Dabur, and Himalaya,” he added.

“We are solely dedicated to the ePharmacy model. Although many of the big online players are beginning to “reverse integrate” their brand into brick-and-mortar stores but we have our plate full enough right now in growing the online brand and keeping our customer base satisfied, loyal and expanding.”

On-challenges, Dadha informed, “The challenges have been those inherent to introducing a very new paradigm. It hadn’t been done before, so we had to invent all of the processes, including teaching the consuming public about how to upload a valid prescription, and even creating tutorials to explain the points of validity that our pharmacists look for before they can approve a prescription.  Another challenge was dealing with the vastness of the geography and fine tuning our last mile delivery resources to maximise customer satisfaction by shortening delivery intervals.”

“Our revenue model caters to the chronic segment, which represents patients across India and totals about $10 billion a year. Thus, we provide medicines to those patients who take the same medication regularly with a dependable online resource for accessing their medication and having delivered to their home without any hassle on time. We also offer a wide range of OTC (over the counter) and FMCG products, so like the typical US Walgreens, CVS or Boots, a customer will come for the prescription drugs, available at great prices, and while he’s there fill the basket with other needed items,” he added.

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