This Mumbai-based healthtech SaaS startup is enabling offline medical stores to convert online
As per Indian Economic Survey 2021, the Indian pharma market is estimated at $42 billion. The retail pharmacy market is ripe for disruption with e-pharma players constituting 2-3 percent of the overall retail pie.
With around 93 percent pharma retailing unorganised, offline pharmacies face issues, which technology can address, including fewer discounts, unavailability of medicines, and longer waiting time.
Mumbai-based pharma-tech startup Easocare aims to address these need gaps through its SaaS offerings.
The initial days
Incorporated in 2019 by 19-year-old Naman Ambavi,had first launched an app to digitally store medical records, where it had digitised 15,000 lab test reports with over 7,000 downloads before discontinuing the service in 2021.
In mid-2021, Easocare for Pharmacy kickstarted its present business model — a subscription-based SaaS platform — helping offline chemists/medical stores, hospitals, and warehouses to expand their business online.
It offers its customers integration of WhatsApp Business API, online payment gateway, inventory and order management services, etc.
A tech wizard since the age of 14, Naman has contributed to several open-source projects. After starting up his brainchild in early 2021, he needed a partner who had a deep understanding of the pharma industry.
That’s when Yaaresh Gilan Ferzandi — belonging to a family that runs a pharmaceutical business — joined Easocare as a co-founder. Yaaresh entered into retail pharma amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
A few weeks after starting up Easocare and registering around 70 paying pharmacies, Yaaresh and Naman thought of raising funds to better understand the business’s future.
Shortly after, Aditi Ravani, a family friend of Naman, heard about the business model and joined the team as the third co-founder.
An IIM Ahmedabad graduate with experience in the finance sector, Aditi always had a desire to enter the startup ecosystem and work closely on business development and investor relations.
The startup has a team of six people.
How it works
Easocare enables brick and mortar pharmacy retailers to set up digital storefronts. At present, the startup’s B2B SaaS subscription offers websites, domains for retail pharmacies, and hospitals and warehouses.
“In the B2B interface, we have plans to look into other avenues, including application, prescription upload, e-POS and value-added services, WhatsApp integration, and supply chain management, soon,” says Naman.
He adds, “Easocare’s USP primarily lies in retail empowerment and enhanced consumer experience through its platform. Talking about vertical competition, there is no player in the Indian market as of now. We are the pioneers of the platform for the retail pharmacies.”
“In the digital space, our indirect competitors include e-pharma giants, including NetMeds, Pharmeasy, and 1MG,” he says.
At present, Easocare is present in Mumbai and Tamil Nadu. It has onboarded over 90 pharmacies and has more than 18,000 customer views.
Funding and monetisation
Easocare charges an annual subscription of Rs 3,000 for the base website and an additional Rs 2,000 per year for a custom domain addon. The startup also provides customised online forward-ordering systems and other services for warehouses and hospitals.
“We expect double-digit revenue growth in coming months with expansion across cities and new product lines, which would lead the model to be profitable in three to four years,” Naman says.
Recently, Easocare raised an undisclosed pre-Series A funding round from friends and family.
“Our topline stands at Rs 5 lakh and is expected to generate Rs 1 crore by end of this fiscal year, with product and market expansion,” he adds.
The way ahead
“This creates a greater opportunity to venture into the e-retail pharmacy space. However, being unorganised and fragmented, the online pharmacy has seen a greater reluctance, especially among 45+ age group retailers, to adopt the online platform,” Naman says.
Easocare expects strategic expansion across the length and breadth of the model, which includes new add-on services in B2B interfaces such as app, WhatsApp interface, e-POS terminals, branding of retail stores, as well as across varied geographies, including Bengaluru, Delhi, and Ahmedabad.
“In the B2C interface, we are planning on entering the logistics space for ease of convenience to the end consumers,” he says.
“The B2B2C model will ensure integrating the last link of the value chain, which is a major portion of the untapped market,” he adds.
As a new-age technology platform, Easocare looks at targeting young to middle-age group people who are not averse to technology adoption.
As per Naman, the expansion would require investors' capital infusion, along with strategic expertise.
“So, we are looking at raising an early-stage financing with funds expected to last for 12 months,” he says.