Amazon has ventured into e-pharmacy and e-grocery business in India. During lockdown, both these sectors saw a massive increase in demand of services, and therefore many Indian players like Swiggy, Zomato, Reliance, etc also forayed into it. Let’s dive deeper.
Crux of the Matter
Amazon Enters Into E-Pharma
Amazon launched its first E-pharmacy business in India in Bangalore and soon will expand to other cities. Customers would be able to order online prescription-based medication, basic health devices, and Ayurveda medication from certified sellers.
NetMeds, 1mg, PharmEasy, and Medlife are local players operating in the Indian E-pharmacy segment. All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), representing more than 850,000 pharmacy outlets opposed the E-pharmacy business and demanded its ban.
Why E-Pharma Seems Promising?
Driving factors are increase in internet penetration, increase in the number of smartphone owners, ease in ordering medications through an e-commerce platform and app, increase in chronic diseases, rising per capita income, and resultant healthcare spending. Moreover, during the pandemic e-pharmacy business saw a massive spike in demand.
Amazon Enters E-Grocery
During the lockdown, companies like Zomato, Swiggy, JioMart, etc. ventured into the E-grocery business. Amazon also launched E-grocery – Amazon Fresh – and E-Food – Amazon Food – businesses in India. Currently, Amazon India has more than 25 Amazon Fresh centres.
- PharmEasy is an online platform that provides medicines delivery & diagnostic tests to patients. It was founded by Dharmil Sheth, Dr. Dhaval Shah in 2015.
- Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BCPL) is India’s first pharmaceutical company. The management of the company was taken over by the Union government on 15 December 1977, and the company was nationalised on 15 December 1980. After 6 decades of losses, BCPL became profitable in the financial year 2016–17. It was founded by Prafulla Chandra Roy who is also known as the father of chemical science in India.
- The domain ‘amazo.in’ has been bought by Flipkart. Thus, whenever you search ‘amazo.in’, you will be directed to Flipkart. Since relentless was one of the considered names for the company, ‘relentless.com’ is also bought by Amazon and will redirect you to Amazon.