With organised retailers slowly increasing their marketshare of the Rs 60,000-crore lucrative drug retail market, pharmacies in the country have decided to go for a common brand name, logo and colour code to counter the challenge.
The market, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 12%, already have established players such as Apollo Pharmacy, Guardian Pharmacy, Religare Wellness and Med-Plus Pharmacy competing with each other for a share of the pie.
To counter them, the All India Organisation of Chemist & Druggists (AIOCD), which has around 7.5 lakh members across India, plans to open new shops for members, inter-connected electronically, using the common branding. This would help them share resources, lower costs and raise their visibility.
"The idea is to convert the existing chemist shops into new ones, which will follow the same work culture and will have the same name," said JS Shinde, president, AIOCD. "We have opened five such shops on an experimental basis and are planning to open 500 such shops in three months."
The association has hired brand consulting firm Chlorophyll for the brand-building exercise.
The new shops will initially come in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and then the model will be replicated in the rest of the country. The association has already floated a company - All Indian Origin Chemists and Distributors Ltd - to help chemists migrate from the old shops to the new ones.
The company will provide support to chemists in the form of IT and back-end processes, which is expected to bring down costs, said Shinde.