Often, you order online or go to a medical store and they don't have the medicines you want. Myra Medicine, a startup based in Bengaluru, promises medicines will be delivered at the user's doorstep in 30 minutes with 15 per cent discount. One can place order through myramed app, SMS or call. Once the order gets forwarded to their closet dispatch centre, it is then checked and reaches the customer in 30 minutes.
The idea of Myra Medicines stemmed from a problem faced due to inaccessibility of medicines at a time of need. Faizan Aziz fell sick on a monsoon day in Bengaluru. The process of purchasing the prescribed medicines left him exasperated. A few days later he had not fully recovered and his wife fell ill too. So a feeble Faizan had to go out to get medicines for his wife and got them only after an hour's struggle.
The next day, he narrated the painful experience to his friend Anirudh. Both friends then realised that delivery time is a critical issue and it can be solved using technology and data science. That’s how Myra was born in April 2015.
With six delivery boys and 12 employees, Bengaluru-based Myra Medicines delivers medicines in HRBR layout, Ulsoor, Cooke Town, Cox Town, Jaymahal and Benson Town. At present, the startup is able to achieve 200 deliveries a day. The order size ranges between Rs 600 and 1200.
Myra Medicines works with 40 distributors across the country and it verifies all licences before dealing with the distributors.
We have seen a growth of 30x in just eight months in terms of revenue, orders and customer growth. All this with no advertising. Our customer retention and repeat rate is very healthy.
Both Faizan and Anirudh have done engineering from RV College. Faizan then joined Dexetra where he was promoted to CTO. The promotion was the gateway to a new chapter where he learnt a lot. This experience added value in fuelling the growth of Myra Medicines.
While strengthening the financial pillars of Myra Medicines, the duo had to face huge challenges in terms of team building, execution and hitting targets. However Rs one crore came as a boon in the form of angel capital.
In the first year, the startup expects to witness a growth of 50 to 70X. And as a part of the expansion plans, it will deliver medicines in every part of Bengaluru in one year.
Role of technology
Usually, medicines business is considered as capital intensive but Myra Medicines claims to keep it relatively low with the usage of data sciences. They use data science and algorithms to predict demand and analyse buying patterns, user behaviour and look at parameters like the type of medicine, regularity, customer dependence and so on. “These parameters combined with machine learning help us accurately predict user demand and the quantity and SKUs of medicines we stock,” Faizan adds.
The startup has also developed a specialised ERP called Prisim for order tracking, dispatch, user management and more. Faizan cites an example here: “When the order is checked out, the ERP uses our delivery time prediction algorithm to decide which orders should leave immediately and which ones can wait. It also decides which delivery boy the order must be assigned to so that the delivery is carried out efficiently.”
Myra Medicines also reduces the number of delivery boys with the help of its mapping system which stores user movement and can accurately predict speeds on road. There are two parts, one is data collection and second is prediction of traffic.
We use data along with transaction times that are customised to the user and dynamically calculate clubbing and routing using a travelling salesman moving time window algorithm. All this is very slow and normally the algorithm will take between 5 mins to an hour for just some deliveries. But we have optimised it so that it does all this calculations under one second.
Given the upsurge of on-demand services in India in the last couple of years, online pharmacy business has become one of the hottest segments for startups to get into. Startups like 1mgAyush.com, Healthkart, Healthgenie, Healthadda, mChemist and Deemark Health are competing with each other by implementing various initiatives to grab the bigger pie in the market. However, Healthkart has been able to command the significant marketshare in terms of GMV during FY 2015.
IT infrastructure and software and robust supply chain play a major role in fuelling the innovation of the e-pharmacy segment. According to a healthcare report by KEN Research, online sales of healthcare products in India generated a total revenue of Rs 5,075.9 million in FY 2015 which surpassed the Rs 771.0 million in FY 2012. In addition, the average order size of the healthcare products has been estimated at Rs 1,762.0 in FY 2015.
The above statistics depicted the fact that the Indian online healthcare product industry is set to contribute significantly in the overall e-commerce industry by FY 2020.