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E-pharma on Fast Lane as Companies Diversify

With technology advancing at a rapid pace, health tech or online healthcare is becoming a major sector to look out for. In this country, healthcare is a USD 180 billion market with an expected compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 18 percent between 2017-2022. According to RedSeer Consulting, “the healthcare sector benefits from high repeat use case, which trickles into the online platform as well. E-pharma is the most evolved sub-sector with a top-heavy structure. Organized healthcare is likely to report higher growth in coming years driven by higher penetration of organized healthcare services (hospitals, clinics and diagnostics) and well as increased penetration of organized Pharmaceutical product sales (Organized and Online pharmacy chains). “Some players in this segment are 1MG, Medlife, Netmeds, Sasta Sundar, PharmEasy, Myra, mChemist among others. With the use of cutting-edge technology like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive analytics, pharma companies have built up capabilities to figure out patterns in the medicine purchasing history of customers and provide diet suggestions that would help in preventive healthcare and less dependence on medicines. Pradeep Dadha, founder, Netmeds says, “this e pharma market did not exist 2-3 years back. Due to technological advancement, now this is a full-fledged market.

The backbone of this sector is technology. With so many players, what matters is the delivery of the right product at the fastest pace”. According to RedSeer consulting, the industry has realised how important it is to build a portfolio of OTC, FMCG, health supplements and diagnostics offerings and products coupled with teleconsultation to retain and grow their customer base. Generic use medicine has also become an important vertical for these companies. “Chronic use cases drive a disproportionate share of orders which leads to a higher fraction of repeat users. E-pharma is a high-ticket purchase segment (with an online Average Order Value of approximately Rs 1,200) which compares favorably with fashion (approximately Rs 1,100). Ordering frequency is particularly high… Future leaders in this space would emerge as full stack service providers offering services across the customer/patient value chain covering the entire healthcare ecosystem,” it noted. B L Mittal, co-founder, Sasta Sundar says that data analytics has been a powerful tool for the segment. “Analytics is helping us link medicine with preventive healthcare which is a big hit with customers. We are seeing more and more interest from investors… The key factor that would decide in retaining customer in the future will be innovations in technology that would help in providing quicker access to all health-related problems in the shortest time”. – New Indian Express