Amazon may invest $100mn in India’s Apollo Pharmacy to strengthen foothold

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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According to reports, US-based eCommerce giant Amazon is considering a nearly 100 million investment in India’s Apollo Pharmacy chain, challenging the country’s Reliance Industries and Tata Group in the fast-growing drug market.

In India, Amazon is already delivering medicines through Amazon Pharmacy that offer both over-the-counter and prescription-based drugs along with basic health devices and traditional Indian herbal medicines on the platform. The potential investment will come in the midst of growing competition from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, which Netmeds a majority stake in Netmeds, the online pharmacy.

Meanwhile, another salt-to-technology conglomerate of the country, Tata Group has reportedly been in talks to pick up a majority stake in e-pharmacy company 1mg.

Amazon’s plan to further expand in India also comes close on the heels of its launch of an online pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs in the United States, increasing competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart.

In India, e-pharmacies is a large market but a fragmented retail segment which makes it ideal for restructuring. Further, the addressable medicine demand for e-pharmacies is projected to hit $18.1 billion by 2023 from $9.3 billion in 2019, according to an EY survey.

India is yet to finalize online drug sales regulations, or e-pharmacies, but online sellers such as Medlife, Netmeds, Temasek-backed PharmEasy, and Sequoia Capital-backed 1 mg are threatening traditional drug stores with their growth. They argue that online drugstores can contribute to medicine sales without proper verification and the entry of large players can cause unemployment in the sector.

Apollo Pharmacy

Apollo Pharmacy is a part of Apollo Hospitals which is Asia’s largest healthcare group. It is India’s first and largest branded pharmacy network, with over 3000 plus outlets in key locations. It offers genuine medicines round-the-clock, through their 24-hour pharmacies.

Apollopharmacy.in has more than 5000 products in various categories like Vitamins and supplements, Baby care, Personal care, Health foods and over the counter medicines.

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