Amazon interested in Indian pharmacy chain


Seattle based e-commerce giant Amazon is thinking about a serious investment in MedPlus, the second largest pharmacy chain in India, reports suggest.

Amazon’s intentions about becoming “the everything store” are quite clear and the companies have neither confirmed nor denied the rumours.

Amazon’s spokesperson told Reuters: “We do not comment on what we may do or may not do in the future”.

But a local tech news website, Factor Daily, quotes a source from venture company helping Amazon with the deal, who wants to remain unidentified.

According to an article published on its website, “there have been preliminary discussions between Amazon and MedPlus”.

Details are not known, however, Factor Daily reports  that  Amazon has a "serious intent to build a definitive pharmacy play in India”.

MedPlus’s founder, Madhukar Gangadi, opened the first pharmacy in 2006 in Hyderabad and since them quickly grew the company into an emporium with over 1,400 stores and 10,000 employees.

Back in 2015 Gangadi launched MedPlusMart, an online pharmacy and general store which is currently the biggest e-pharmacy in India.

India’s pharmacy market attracts foreign investors as it offers higher margins compared to other consumer products. The local buyers are not used to discounts, which makes it a relatively profitable business for e-commerce companies to enter, comparing to other regions in the world.

Analysts also see India as an important growth market for the US e-commerce giant, which expects groceries and household products to account for over half of its business in India in the next five years.

The possible investment in India comes barely a month after Amazon acquired the US online pharmacy PillPack for nearly $1 billion expanding its activities into the pharmaceutical market in the US.

The buyout disrupted pharma shares and wiped out nearly $11 billion stock prices of conventional pharmacy chains like Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS.

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Piotr Wnuk