MedPlus, a leading pharmacy retailer with over 1,240 stores across India, has launched India’s first-of-its-kind pharmacy eCommerce service – ‘Click, Pick & Save’ in Hyderabad.
Retailer media caught up with Dr. Madhukar Gangadi, Founder & CEO, MedPlus Health Services, to know more about the online service and expansion strategy of the brand pertaining to Franchising.
What are your plans for expansion?
After building a successful chain of stores under the name of Medplus Now, the company has planned to go for franchising as a model for their business expansion.
Currently, the company operates 1,244 stores, out of which, only 5 per cent are with the franchise. We are planning to open more than 10,000 stores pan-India through franchising.
Tell us about the new initiatives by Medplus.
We have just launched “Click and Pick” in Hyderabad. This is the company’s dedicated efforts to deliver the ordered medicine to customer within hours.
How does ‘Click, Pick & Save’ actually operate?
We are the first ones to launch such kind of facility. Our large organised retail set up plays an important part in this venture. With the click and pick facility, a customer not only can order for the medicines, but taking it a step further, he/ she can now select the store for delivery as well. As soon as the medicine reaches the selected store, the customer will get an automated message to pick the ordered medicines.
What is the expected time of delivery?
Generally, it takes less than 5 hours to deliver the medicines. But, what is worth mentioning is the availability of 99 per cent medicines. Every regular medicine other than speciality medicines can be ordered through the click and pick.
Are there any plans regarding expansion of click and pick facility beyond Hyderabad?
Initially, we will be launching this in Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata in the coming months. After that, all across the country, by setting up massive warehouses and stores either through franchising or on our own.
What store format have you decided for franchising?
We can’t have one format for all. The franchising is strictly based on the locations and the density of population in locality. For the smaller locations of 120-150 sq ft, there will be an investment of Rs 10 lakh with every other cost included. It will cost around Rs 25 lakh for a bigger space in high density area. These stores will serve the twin purpose of serving medicines to local public and those ordering online will be served at these stores.
Are you also open to conversion franchising?
Absolutely, we are open to people.
Which are the cities that are on your radar which you will tap through franchising?
Firstly, we are going to saturate the city where we are working to a much larger extent while we will keep on propagating our click and pick model with focus on expanding the stores count in Delhi and Kolkata, where we are present. We aim to add more stores soon after the launch in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. Thereafter, we will rush to northern states like Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and more.
Are you looking to touch the metros cities of each region first?
No, not specifically. We are present in top 6 out of 7 cities. We have plans to reach in top 10 cities quickly. We have 200 stores each in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. In Kolkata and Delhi, the stores count is 100 and 40, respectively. We are also present in Pune and Ahmedabad.
What are the 3 biggest categories from the consumer’s point of view?
That’s difficult to answer, but still medicines takes the biggest chunk of pie with 70-75 per cent depending on the location and rest 20-25 per cent is FMCG or the other wellness products.
Do you feel the consumer has increased their spending limit when it comes to buying FMCG or wellness products?
All depends on the city and to be specific the location of the consumer. Let’s take an example, people in Delhi buy health and wellness care products from the medical shops, whereas in Hyderabad, we have a lot more organised retail stores for these kind of products. So, it all depends on the city.
How much of products are of Private label?
We have 5% products of private label but we continue to grow that category. We have everything right from health supplements to proper OPCN Pharma drugs. We have a separate subsidiary named as MHS Pharma. This company makes drugs for us in a contract manner.