Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is increasing its efforts to make a dent in the country’s growing e-pharmacy and online healthcare segment with the launch of its Flipkart Health+ tech platform.
The Flipkart Group recently infused $143 million in its healthcare unit, Flipkart Health, which operates the new tech platform. In November last year, it acquired a majority share in Sastasundar Marketplace Limited – which owns and operates SastaSundar.com, an online pharmacy and digital healthcare platform – to focus on creating an end to end digital healthcare platform to address access to affordable and quality healthcare.
With the launch of the Flipkart Health+ tech platform, Walmart-owned Flipkart is now directly competing with established local players including Reliance-owned NetMeds, Tata-owned 1mg, PharmEasy and Amazon Pharmacy.
E-pharmacy, e-diagnostics and teleconsultation are critical segments in this ecosystem. They have been among the fastest-growing segments in this space, as this sector enabled access to healthcare throughout the pandemic.
The overall market is around $1 billion and expected to grow at 50% CAGR, driven by increased health awareness among consumers and greater convenience.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Indians have witnessed a tremendous shift in favouring wellness and preventative healthcare and there is an increased focus on health and wellness. Prashant Jhaveri, CEO of Flipkart Health+, said in a press statement. “Through Flipkart Health+, we aim to solve the critical gap of accessibility to genuine medicines and healthcare products and services across the country, especially in the remotest parts of the country that have been underserved until now.”
Jhaveri, who previously was the chief business officer at Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited, joined Flipkart in March this year.
In the coming months, Flipkart Health+ plans to onboard third-party healthcare service providers who will offer other value-added healthcare services like teleconsultation and e-diagnostics to customers.
The Flipkart Health+ platform will have around 500+ independent sellers with a network of registered pharmacists for validation of medical prescriptions and accurate dispensation of medicines.
Even though it is an intermediary marketplace platform, Flipkart said that its Health+ service has put in place various quality checks and verification protocols, which will facilitate delivery of genuine medicines and healthcare products from independent sellers to the customer’s doorstep.
Flipkart said that the new service would benefit from its reach and last-mile supply chain capabilities, coupled with Sastasundar.com’s robust healthcare network across the country.