netmeds
Health

Reliance Industries is taking steps to grow its pharmaceutical business

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Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), led by Mukesh Ambani, is expanding its pharma presence and has opened 114 pharmacies.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), led by Mukesh Ambani, is expanding its pharma presence and has opened 114 pharmacies. According to a RIL official, the company is engaging customers through outreach initiatives and has launched a hyperlocal delivery pilot in Bengaluru.

“Pharma is a company that we are in the process of forming. After the company’s fourth-quarter earnings announcement on 30 April, Dinesh Thapar, group chief financial officer, Reliance Retail, said, “We’re enabling Netmeds, which we acquired in September last year, and a whole round of impactful activation and promotions that have gone behind it.”

RIL paid 620 crore for a 60 percent stake in online pharmacy Netmeds, not only to boost its e-commerce business, but also to expand its healthcare portfolio on the Jio platform. JioMart, Reliance Retail’s online grocery site, has been merged with Netmeds.

To expand its scope, RIL is holding camps, society interactions, and door-to-door marketing. Netmeds’ pan-India brand campaign has also helped the company’s website traffic increase by over 25% quarter-on-quarter, according to the company. “We’re also adding to the list. We’re experimenting with hyperlocal distribution. As a result, we’re considering a strategy for fulfilling Netmeds orders from stores. It’s a pilot that’s already up and running, with plans to expand as the rest of the store network goes live,” Thapar explained.

To expand its healthcare portfolio, RIL made a number of acquisitions, including Karexpert and C-Square. It intends to use its digital arm, Jio Platforms Ltd, to integrate its brick-and-mortar network and provide a variety of services that can be monetized through transaction-based services, distribution, and subscriptions. “RIL has been developing a healthcare portfolio for a few years now, and it expects to be a dominant player in the sector across a web of health services ranging from lab testing to drugs to hospitalisation. “Its digital business Jio Platforms and 426 million Jio subscribers will help the pharma segment expand,” a domestic brokerage analyst said on condition of anonymity.

RIL’s pharmacy market is integrated with its Smart Points stores, which serve as the last-mile delivery centre for all digital orders.

Reliance Life Sciences, or RLS, a biotechnology company owned by RIL’s promoter group, opened the world’s largest testing facility for covid-19 in May and is currently conducting over 3,500 tests per day. RLS is also in the process of partnering with local entrepreneurs to open pathology labs across India.

The offline initiatives will be integrated into the Jio Health Hub app, which was launched in January 2017. The app provides lab testing and health screenings, as well as home sample collection and report delivery. It also provides online doctor consultations.

Karexpert’s services, which use cloud-based technology to link healthcare providers with patients, have already been integrated with Jio Health Hub. C-Square, which provides software solutions for distribution, retail, e-commerce, and automation with a focus on the pharma sector and sold an 82 percent stake to RIL, will enable the company to expand into the pharma e-tailing market.


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