Netmeds - Leading India's Online Pharmacy Segment!

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Over a short period, e-commerce has gained much popularity in India, alluring the younger generation specifically. Consumers have become choice-savvy ever since online retail has redefined shopping catalog: thousands of search results for any item. Why should medicines be left out when everything, from apparel to real estate, can be purchased online?

Netmeds, a Chennai based company is here to help you with its concept of an online pharmacy. The venture has now become the default option for many Indians. StartupTalky covers the success story of Netmeds - 'India ki Pharmacy' in this post.

Netmeds- Company Highlights

Startup Name Netmeds
Headquarters Chennai
Founder Pradeep Dadha
Sector Pharmaceutical
Founded 2010
Parent Organisation Netmeds Marketplace Limited
Website netmeds.com

About Netmeds
Netmeds - Target Market Size
Netmeds - Founder And Team
Netmeds - How It Began
Netmeds - Tagline And Logo
Netmeds - Products And Services
Netmeds - USP and Innovation
Netmeds - Business Model And How It Works
Netmeds - Franchise
Netmeds - Revenue Model
Netmeds - Growth / Revenue
Netmeds - Valuation, Funding And Investors
Netmeds - Acquisitions
Netmeds - Marketing Campaigns
Netmeds - Startup Challenges
Netmeds - Competitors
Netmeds - Awards
Netmeds - Future Plans


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About Netmeds

Netmeds is one of the top online pharmacies in India, that deals with a wide range of healthcare products like high-quality prescription medicines, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, general health care products, Ayurvedic, and homeopathic medicines. It has delivery facilities across India. It is a subsidiary of Dadha & Company, one of India’s most trusted pharmacy brands with over 100 years of experience in dispensing quality medicines. Pradeep Dadha founded the company in 2010 and it is headquartered at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It's parent company is Netmeds Marketplace Limited.

Netmeds - Target Market Size

It is estimated that more than 250 online pharmacies have sprung up in India in recent years, cornering Rs 1,000 crore ($140 million) of the Indian drug market. The country’s overall drugs and medicines retail market is worth over Rs 1.2 lakh crore annually.

Netmeds - Founder And Team

Pradeep Dadha is the founder and CEO of Netmeds.

Pradeep Dadha, Founder and CEO, Netmeds
Pradeep Dadha, Founder and CEO, Netmeds

Pradeep, the owner of netmeds, was born and raised in the Chennai suburb of Royapettah. He worked in his family's business—Dadha & Company—and later setup up its online presence. He runs the Pradeep Dadha Group of Companies, a private holding company, and is the chairman of its subsidiary—Notch Media.

The other core member of the team is Bruce Schwack. Bruce is the Chief Communication Officer at Netmeds.

Netmeds - How It Started

Pradeep's family managed Tamil Nadu Dadha Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TDPL) that was acquired by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd in 1997. TDPL then merged with Sun. S. Mohanchand Dadha, Pradeep's dad and founder of the family business, is on the board of Sun Pharma. Pradeep Dadha, CEO of netmeds, started Netmeds.com to take advantage of e-retail and add a new dimension to his father's efforts. This is how Netmeds was started.


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Netmeds wiki
Netmeds Logo

The tagline reads as India Ki Pharmacy.

Netmeds - Products And Services

The Netmeds India platform offers an impressive selection of both prescription drugs and non-prescription products (OTC).

Ordering medicines online at Netmeds.com is as easy as ABC; browse for the product, add it to your cart along with your prescription (if required) and proceed to make payment. It offers a wide range of products. It deals with prescription-based medicines for all major and minor ailments, ayurvedic, Unani and homeopathic medicines, health foods, drinks, supplements, personal care products, and equipment such as orthopedic devices, surgical accessories, etc.

Products are sourced from more than 200 Indian manufacturers. The top 25 of these manufacturers are listed on the main page. These include Sun, Ranbaxy, Cipla, Dr. Reddy, and many other pharmaceutical companies. It also has a diagnostics service that provides customers with expert advice from medical professionals.

The company also provides the following value-added services:

  • Automated refill reminders
  • Loyalty programs
  • Expense analytics
  • Digital copy of prescriptions

The company uses data analytics to predict demand with high accuracy. This enables them to improve their inventory management and ensure the availability of stocks during unforeseen situations like changing seasons and epidemics.

It normally takes just one day to deliver in metro cities. In general, the delivery time may vary depending on the location. No delivery charges are imposed on orders above Rs 1000. For orders below this value, shipping charges are from Rs 25- Rs 50.

Netmeds - USP and Innovation

Netmeds banks on the following USPs:

  • Over 100 Years of Service in the Pharma Industry.
  • Delivery Across India.
  • Pharmacy of choice for more than 3 Million Indians.
  • High-Quality, Genuine Medicines.
  • A Team of Highly Experienced Pharmacists.
  • State-of-the-Art Warehouses.
  • A Large Inventory of Medicines/35000+ SKUs.
  • The customer gets to know the expiry date of  the medicines while ordering!

The company also has an app which makes it convenient for users to find and order medicines, track orders, and make payments. It is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. The app offers benefits such as amazing discounts on shopping through the app, online consultation, free access to healthcare and medicine related information, and timely medicine refill reminders.


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Netmeds - Business Model And How It Works

It sells prescription based and over the counter medicines and health-related products online. The company has certified pharmacists who screen prescriptions uploaded by the customers before dispatching their orders.

The company is considering a B2B business model through which it will offer pharmacies medicines at wholesale rates. At present, the company offers up to 20% discount to its customers on prescribed medicine. The company is evaluating the B2B business idea potential.

Netmeds founder Pradeep says, “It would work like a B2B business, we will be doing wholesale business with them".

Netmeds - Franchise

Netmeds is also taking the franchise route to expand its presence in India. The company is planning to open a minimum of 1000 franchise stores within the next five years. Besides publicizing the brand name, they will use this model to assist franchise partners with inventory planning, stock keeping, IT infrastructure, and marketing efforts. The company is also attempting to partner with banks to provide loans to applicants eligible for a franchise.

To be eligible for a Franchise, one is expected to have a 300 sq. ft. store on the ground floor located on the main road of any neighborhood. Anyone meeting these criteria and willing to invest around 20 lakhs can tie-up with the company to set up a Netmeds store. One can contact them for franchise related queries through the contact details available on its site.

"With the selection of the right location and stock availability, we expect about 100 footfalls a day. Indicative break-even period is 12-18 months", netmeds owner Pradeep tells.

The company opened its first franchise store in Nanded (Maharashtra) in 2018. Also in 2019, it opened its first retail store in Karnataka's Belgaum. They have plans to open 20 more such retail stores in Karnataka by 2020.


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Netmeds - Revenue Model

Netmeds' revenue model is divided into 3 parts: commission, marketing, and shipping charges. Of these, commission is the largest contributor as the company earned Rs 4.46 Crores from commissions in FY18.

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. It helps them accessing their medication and having them 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, customers will come for the prescription drugs, available at great prices, while they fill the basket with other needed items - Pradeep Dadha, Netmeds owner said.

Netmeds - Growth / Revenue

The company has quickly established itself as a leading name in the online pharmacy retail segment. Some growth milestones achieved by the company are:

  • Netmeds India provides prescription medicine and healthcare products to more than 3,000,000 patients across India, serving over 19,000+ pin codes.
  • It has seen double-digit growth rates month-on-month since inception. In FY 2018, it's revenue grew 2.5 times. In 2017 it earned a revenue of 3.94 crores, while in 2018, it's turnover increased to 10.05 crores.
  • It has around 35,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) across various tier-2 and tier-3 Indian cities.
  • They claim to have eight fulfillment centers in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Raipur, and Kochi.
  • The company currently has 13 warehouses.

The company plans to expand its presence by setting up warehouses through tie-ups in 16 metro and non-metro cities soon. Netmeds will be focusing on building its infrastructure for improving overall efficiency.

Netmeds - Valuation, Funding And Investors

Netmeds has raised $99 million in funding over 3 rounds. The latest round of funding was in September 2018 where it raised $35 million from the Southeast Asian business conglomerate Daun Penh Cambodia Group (based in Singapore). Their plan is to use these funds for expanding its reach through marketing efforts and for expedition of its delivery and stock management process.

Here is a list of all the funding rounds of Netmeds:

Date Stage Amount Investors
October 26, 2015 Series A $50 Million OrbiMed
October 31, 2017 Series B $14 Million Sistema Asia Fund, Tanncam Investment
September 1, 2018 Series C $35 Million Sistema Asia Fund, Tanncam Investment, and Daun Penh Cambodia Group

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in Chennai-based online pharmacy Netmeds. As a part of the deal, Reliance may integrate $130-$150 million for the asset through one of its subsidiaries along with a fresh infusion of capital in Netmeds to expand the operations.

The talks for this acquisition had been on before the lockdown. The deal would take place at a slight premium to Netmeds’ last funding round valuation, added the report. It’s worth noting that Netmeds recently launched its grocery delivery service via RIL-owned Reliance Retail.


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Netmeds - Acquisition

Netmeds has acquired 3 organizations.

Acquired Date
Pluss App October 2016
JustDoc September 2018
KiviHealth March 2019

Pluss is an on-demand medicine, healthcare and wellness products delivery app which standardizes your experience irrespective of your location and the store from where your medicines come, JustDoc is one of the largest global online doctor consultation platforms that provide better healthcare services via audio, video & chat, and KiviHealth is a health-tech startup that aims to provide an affordable, patient-centric, digital health information management system.

Netmeds - Marketing Campaign

Netmeds' multi-crore TV, digital, and print advertising campaigns have made it a household name with backing from a large customer base. The company launched a TV commercial featuring actors Krushna Abhishek and Sudesh Lehri in its initial days.

They have now signed MS Dhoni as its brand ambassador. The commercial starring Dhoni has garnered more than 34 million views till date.

Netmeds.com - India ki Pharmacy!

Netmeds - Startup Challenges

Buying medicines online brought a new paradigm shift. Convincing and educating consumers to adopt this shift and think beyond traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies was a challenge for Netmeds.

Like any other e-commerce company, dealing with the logistics of a country so vast has not been easy. The typical chronic patient may be taking as many as six medicines a month, and sometimes more. The company thus has to quickly source and deliver the required prescription medicines and over the counter products in one basket.

The need for a medical prescription for ordering from Netmeds may seem awkward and unnecessary for many. But by doing so, it is encouraging people to see a doctor in a long, long time.


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Netmeds - Competitors

The company competes in a segment filled with well-funded rivals. Major competitors include: 1mg, PharmEasy, mChemist, Myra, BigChemist, Care on Go, Click on Care, and Lybrate.

Netmeds - Awards

Netmeds bagged the Health Tech Start-Up of the Year at the NDTV Unicorn Start-up Awards 2016. It was selected as ‘Asia’s Most Promising Brand 2018’ by Int+ WCRC International.

Netmeds - Future Plans

Netmeds plans to team up with other pharma/nutritional companies to target specific patient groups by leveraging the power of data analytics.

The company is focused on increasing the number of warehouse and fulfillment centers across India. It currently has 14 fulfillment centers across India and is planning to add 12 more fulfillment centers by 2020.

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About Lakshya Singh

I am a visionary content creator and internet researcher.