Japanese firm Rohto Pharmaceutical Co plans to expand its base in India with SastaSundar Healthbuddy Ltd as its preferred partner. “We are looking for expansion of our base in India with SastaSundar as our preferred partner. We have invested USD 5 million (Rs 32 crore) to acquire 13 per cent stake in SastaSundar ,” Rohto Executive VP and Global Head of International Business Lekh Raj Juneja told reporters here. By utilising the network of SastaSundar, Rohto will be expanding its presence in India, which is a key emerging market for the company, Juneja said.
Rohto is open to further investments in the Indian firm, Juneja said, without specifying any amount. Established in 1899, Rohto makes and markets pharma products, cosmetics and functional foods. It has set up wholly owned subsidiary Rohto Pharma (India) in 2010 and launched brands like Lipice, OXY and Acnes in the domestic market.
SastaSundar, which owns and operates digital helathcare network SastaSundar.com, currently operates only in West Bengal and is looking at pan-India expansion. The company, which operates through franchise model, aims to have 250 Heathbuddy stores in West Bengal and 50 stores in Delhi by March 2018.
“At SastaSundar, we use knowledge and digital connectivity to reduce cost and add convenience in making available high quality medicines, healthcare products and services through fast online access and convenient home delivery process to make life simple. “We are on a growth path and looking for a pan-India expansion. We plan to scale up our operations in Mumbai soon. Our association with Rohto will help us in achieving our immediate goal,” SastaSundar executive chairman B L Mittal said.