In $11.5 billion retail pharmacy segment, how CareOnGo aims to emerge as the biggest online retailer
According to experts in the online sector, after e-commerce and travel industry, healthcare and wellness segment is going to emerge as the next big thing. With new players, the online healthcare segment is undergoing massive transformation, offering better services and becoming more vibrant.
Launched in August this year, CareOnGo is a wellness and care platform providing services in preventive and curative care through hyperlocal business model. The idea was born when Ritu Singh, Co-founder, CareOnGo placed an order for medicines with one of the major players and had a shoddy service experience. She saw an enormous gap in the segment and observed a high growth potential for new players. She brainstormed with other co-founders Aditya Kandoi and Yogesh Kumar and decided to launch CareOnGo. The company claims to be one of the fastest medicine delivery networks, with delivery time within three hours of placing the order.
“From medicines to booking fitness sessions to getting personalised diet plans, we aim to be the one-stop app for all the health needs. The platform serves both the curative and preventive care in healthcare and wellness segment, thus catering to a huge market,” says Aditya, Co-founder, CareOnGo.
He adds that the platform is working on a lean hyperlocal model using existing infrastructure to organise the market and bring standardisation and readiness to the segment.
“There are players who deal in fitness classifieds but they don’t provide closures, which is very important for a customer. With a customised pack approach, customers have been offered flexibility to select their own goals and design a personalised session. This enables us to provide specialised services instead of leaving those hard choices to the customer. We have experienced and specialised experts on board who ensure every customer’s need is taken care of,” says Aditya.
In the four weeks of its launch, the platform claims to have had more than 15,000 app downloads. Currently, it provides its services in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru. With an aggressive growth path, it plans to ramp up its operations to 20 cities by first half of next year.
The venture is completely bootstrapped with an investment of Rs six million spent on technology, database building, running operations and marketing. It has received interests from major VC firms and currently evaluating options. “More than funds we are looking for strategic investors who can come on board to help the growth of CareOnGo,” says Aditya.
Market size and other players
There exists a huge market for retail pharmacy and wellness. According to IMS, retail pharmacy is expected to cross USD 11.5 billion by the end of 2015 end, growing at a rate of 20 per cent year-on-year. Fitness and dietitian services stand at USD 250 million and have a growing demand from the end users given the hectic lifestyle and a greater focus on remaining fit.
In this enormous market, there are various players that are vying with each other to grab the largest piece of the pie. In the wellness and preventive cure, Vidal Healthcare poses direct competition to CareOnGo. Vertically, in medicines, 1mg is a known name.
On competition, Aditya says that when it comes to online delivery of medicines, the pharmacy segment is still at the nascent stage. We see a lot of potential in the segment. The market will also give ample opportunity for players to grow at the same time.