Value-add: Medicine Shoppe, Oriental Insurance Join Hands

Mumbai | Updated: Aug 31 2004, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to provide another value-added service to domestic consumers, the largest retail pharmacy The Medicine Shoppe India and Oriental Insurance Company have joined hands to offer free Mediclaim to Medicine Shoppe customers. Now with every purchase of Rs 5,000 made at a Medicine Shoppe pharmacy a customer will get a Mediclaim policy worth Rs 5,000.

The initiative follows the success of Medicine Shoppes first free personal accident insurance offer, where the company has issued policies worth more than Rs 16 crore in the last 18 months.

With Mediclaim we hope to make a stronger dent in the market and are also hopeful that more people become aware of this policy. Currently, less than 0.5 per cent of the population has Mediclaim cover. We are hopeful that this policy will increase awareness and sensitise more customers to the need of taking such policies, said Oriental Insurance Company Ltd regional manager VN Bhargava.

According to The Medicine Shoppe India managing director Viraj Gandhi, Over a period of time, we have endeavoured to add to the basket of services offered to our customers. The company is looking at states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa to provide the growth thrust.

The Medicine Shoppe India, arm of The Medicine Shoppe International, has embarked on a Rs 50-crore expansion plan to increase its retail chain outlets to 500 by 2009.

The company plans to double the number of retail outlets from the current 57 to over 100 by March 2005.

Funds for expansion will come from Medicine Shoppe and new franchisees, said Medicine Shoppe International the franchising wing of US healthcare giant Cardinal Healthdirector (international operations) Rick Clark.

Organised pharma retail is fairly nascent in India at present and the prospects are promising. We expect the Indian operations to grow at a faster rate compared to other regions in coming years, Mr Clark added.