Netmeds: India's Online Pharmacy

Over a short period of time, e-commerce has gained much popularity in India, especially among the youth. Consumers are spoilt for choice as they have a wide range of various products to choose from. From apparels to Real Estate everything can be purchased online, and medicines are no different. Netmeds, a Chennai based company is here to help you buy and send medicines with just a few clicks. The company has now become the first choice for many Indians for buying medicines. We bring to you the story of Netmeds which rightly calls itself- 'India ki Pharmacy'

Netmeds Startup Success Story

Startup Name NetMeds
Headquarter Chennai
Founder Pradeep Dadha
Sector Pharmaceutical
Founded 2010
Parent Organisation Netmeds Marketplace Limited

About Netmeds
Founders of Netmeds and team
How was Netmeds Started
Netmeds - Tagline and Logo
Netmeds Medicines and Health Care Products
Netmeds - Business Model and How it works
Netmeds - Franchise
Netmeds - Revenue Model
Netmeds - User Acquisition and Growth
Netmeds - Funding and Investors
Netmeds - Acquisitions
Netmeds - Marketing Campaigns
Netmeds - Startup Challenges
Netmeds - Competitors
Netmeds - Awards
Netmeds - Future Plans

About Netmeds

Netmeds is an online pharmacy which deals in a wide range of healthcare products like high-quality prescription medicines, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals to general health care products, Ayurveda and homeopathy medicines. Netmeds delivers the products across India. Netmeds is a subsidiary of Dadha & Company which is one of India’s most trusted pharmacies, with over 100 years’ experience in dispensing quality medicines. Netmeds was founded in 2010 by Pradeep Dadha and is headquartered at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Netmeds' parent company is Netmeds Marketplace Limited.

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Founders of Netmeds and Team

Netmeds was founded by Pradeep Dadha. Pradeep was born and raised in the Chennai suburb of Royapettah. He worked at his family business Dadha & Company and set up its internet retail pharmacy. Pradeep Dadha, the founder of Netmeds is running the Pradeep Dadha Group of Companies, a private holding company, and is also the chairman of its subsidiary, Notch Media.

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

How was Netmeds Started

Pradeep's family ran  Tamil Nadu Dadha Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TDPL) which was acquired and merged with drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd in 1997. Pradeep Dadha’s father, S. Mohanchand Dadha, who founded the family business, is on the board of Sun Pharma. Adding a new dimension to his family business, Pradeep Dadha started Netmeds.com. Netmeds.com made a purchase of medicine hassle-free for the Indian consumer.

Netmeds Logo

Netmeds tagline reads as - India ki Pharmacy.

Netmeds Medicines and Health Care Products

Netmeds is a trusted platform that offers an impressive selection of both prescription drugs and non-prescription products (OTC).

Ordering medicines online at Netmeds.com is as simple as browsing, adding to your cart and uploading your prescription, if required, and proceeding to checkout. Netemeds offers a wide range of products. It deals with- Prescription based medicines for all major and minor ailments. Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic medicines. Health food, Drink and health supplement  Personal care products. Health-related devices like orthopedic devices, surgical accessories, etc.

Products are sourced from more than 185 Indian manufacturers, including a home page menu of the top 25, such as Sun, Ranbaxy, Cipla, and Dr. Reddy among the other pharmaceutical companies

Netmeds also has a diagnostics service, which provides customers with expert advice from medical professionals delivered to them using technology with the aim of improving healthcare outcomes.  

Besides, Netmeds provides value-added services like-

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

Data analytics allows the company to predict demand with accuracy. Thus it enables them to improve their inventory management and making sure stocks are available to fight challenges such as changing seasons and epidemics through early warning indicators

Netmeds banks on the following USPs

  • Over 100 Years of Service in the Pharma Industry
  • No Limits! Delivery All Across India
  • Family Pharmacy of choice for 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 about the expiry of medicines while ordering itself!

Netmeds  normally takes just 1 day to deliver  in metro cities. However, depending on the delivery location as well as the type of products ordered, delivery time of Netmeds may vary.  Netmeds do not charge any delivery charges on orders above Rs 1000. While for orders below his value shipping charges are Rs 25- Rs 50.

Netmeds also has an app which makes it convenient for the users to  find and order medicines, track orders and make payments. Netmeds app can be downloaded from the App store and Google Play. Netmeds app offers many benefits such as amazing discounts on shopping through the app, one can consult best doctors 24/7 through the app, free access to healthcare and medicine related information and timely medicine refill reminders.

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Netmeds - Business Model and How Netmeds works

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

Netmeds is considering a B2B business model through which it will offer pharmacies, medicines at the wholesale rate for selling to their customers. At present, Netmeds offers discounts up to 20% on prescribed medicines to its customers. According to Pradeep, the company is evaluating how to get pharmacy stores to buy from the company.  “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 itself to every corner of the country. Netmeds is planning to open a minimum of 1000  franchise stores across India in the next five years. Besides getting Netmed’s brand name, Netmeds will also help the franchise partners with inventory planning, stock keeping, IT infrastructure and also marketing efforts. Netmeds is also trying to partner with banks to provide loans to applicants eligible for a franchise.

To get a Netmeds Franchise one is expected to have 300 sq. ft. store on the ground floor located at the main road of any neighborhood.

Anyone having a preferred location and who can invest around 20 lakhs can tie up with Netmeds to set up  a Netmeds store. One can contact Netmeds for franchise through the contact details available on Netmeds 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" says Pradeep.

The company has opened its first brick and mortar store in Nanded, Maharashtra.

Netmeds - Revenue Model

Netmeds revenue model is divided into 3 parts - commission, marketing, and shipping charges. Of these commissions 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, the owner of Netmeds elucidated.

Netmeds - User Acquisition and Growth

Netmeds has fast become a leading name in the online medicine selling. Some of the growth milestones achieved by the company are-

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

The company plans to expand their presence by setting up warehouses through tie-ups in 16 metro and non-metro cities by the end of 2019. Netmeds will be building in its infrastructure in such a way as to serve the customers quickly.

Netmeds - Funding and Investors

Netmeds has raised funding worth $99 Million over 3 rounds. The latest round of funding was in September 2018. In September Netmeds raised $35 million from Southeast Asian business conglomerate Daun Penh Cambodia Group based in Singapore. Netmeds will use the funds to expand its reach through marketing efforts and enhance the customer experience by expediting delivery and increasing its stock.

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

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Netmeds - Acquisition

In November 2016, Netmeds acquired Delhi-based hyperlocal drugs delivery app Pluss. Netmeds.com also acquired JustDoc.com, a telemedicine portal in a cash and stock transaction in September, 2018. In March 2019, Netmeds acquired KiviHealth. 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 and a trusted online pharmacy. The company  in a much early stage launched TV commercial  featuring comic actors Krushna Abhishek and Sudesh Lehri.

Now, Netmeds has signed MS Dhoni as their brand ambassador. The commercials where MS Dhoni appeared has more than 34 million views as of now.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni- Brand Ambassador-NetMeds

Netmeds - Startup Challenges

Buying medicines online was a totally new paradigm shift. As such, convincing and educating consumers to adapt it on how to best utilize it for their ultimate convenience and benefit was a challenge for Netmeds.  

Also like any other e-commerce company, dealing with the logistics of a country so vast has always been a challenge. The typical chronic patient may be taking as many as 6 medicines a month, sometimes more. Therefore, Netmeds has to quickly source and deliver any number of prescription medicines and over the counter products in one basket.

Again, the prescription requirement to many customers, in its own, is a new concept. But by requiring a prescription, Netmeds is encouraging many people to see a doctor, often for the first time in a long time.  

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Netmeds - Competitors

NetMeds competes with some other well-funded player in the space. Some major competitors of Netmeds are- 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. They have also been 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 use data analytics and thus target specific patient groups.

The company also wants to increase its reach through Franchise, increasing number of warehouse and fulfillment centers. Netmeds currently has 14 fulfillment centers across India and is planning to add 12 more fulfillment centers by 2020.

Netmeds Website

 

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About Lakshya Singh

I am a visionary content creator and internet researcher.
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