In 2012, Prashant Tandon set up his e-pharmacy 1mg in Gurugram. It was a maverick move at a time when most valuable new companies in India were being set up in the startup hub of Bangalore. Fast forward just over half a decade and Tandon stands vindicated. Now, one of India’s largest e-pharmacies, 1mg had over 2.4 million active users last month, four times the number of users its closest competitor Practo had, according to App Annie. It has built this popularity on the back of its digital content—creating a database of which brands sell which drugs and at what price.
Death’s door to doorstep delivery, e-pharmacies are here to stay
After years of battling state regulators, proposed new legislation has ensured that e-pharmacies can look forward rather than over their shoulders
While 1mg grew unhindered in Gurugram, its competitors in other states were fighting against state regulators and offline pharmacies
Now, the health ministry has suggested new regulations that will make things easier for e-pharmacies across India
Effectively legitimised, online pharmacies can now focus on strategies to corner the market
However, huge discounts and mass advertising are only pushing e-pharmacies further away from becoming profitable