The start-up delivers medicines in Bengaluru and Mumbai within an hour of placing an order, and at a 20% discount on the price.
For those with chronic health problems, a visit to the doctor means repeated trips to the pharmacy for re-fills and at times coming back empty-handed if the required medicine is unavailable, besides a big payout every month.
It is to mitigate the problems faced by such patients that Bengaluru-based start-up Myra Medicines entered the fray in August 2014. Close to four years later, this e-pharmacy founded by Faizan Aziz and Anirudh Coontoor is delivering medicines in Bengaluru and Mumbai within an hour of placing an order, and at a 20% discount on the retail price. Moreover, the predictive modeling at the heart of the entire system helps Myra ensure that the medicines its customers are ordering are always in stock and ready to be shipped.
“With our 20% discount on all orders, we are making our products accessible to poorer economic classes. Furthermore, for many customers we have become a dependable and reliable partner for their health,” says Faizan Aziz, co-founder and CEO, Myra Medicines. “Myra is also working towards increasing the efficiency of the supply chain. This ensures that there is less wastage, less spurious medicines and more accountability in the system.”
Myra started off by buying medicines from local pharmacies and delivering them to the consumer. With more scale, it shifted to buying medicines from smaller distributors. With scale and more data, Myra started skipping the supply chain ladders and cutting off the middle-men. Now, Myra operates a full-stack model—it holds medicines in stock across the city (it has warehouses in Bengaluru and Mumbai) and is responsible for delivery. This gives Myra multiple advantages; better control on operations, superior margins and supply credit.
Customers can upload their prescriptions directly through the app or search for medicines on the app and then upload their prescription later. Once verified, the order is processed and delivered to the customer. In cases where the customers do not have a prescription or the prescription is expired, Myra connects the customers to doctors for online consultation. Once the doctors provide their diagnosis and prescribe medicines to the patients, Myra delivers the medicines. Besides paying online and cash on delivery, customers can choose to pay for the transaction at a later date, clubbing multiple orders and making the payment at one go. Myra also has a 30-day return policy thus minimising wastage of medicines.
According to estimates, the online pharmacy market in India is at `800-1,000 crore, which amounts to 1-2% penetration of the entire pharma market. Several e-pharmacy start-ups have entered the market, each with their own tech platform and algorithms at the back-end to remove the inefficiencies in procurement and delivery. Aziz explains that medicine delivery is a high margin business with supply chain accounting for about 45% of the entire cost of the medicines. Myra primarily works on this margin. “The superior margins are a result of removing intermediaries and directly benefit the customers through a flat 20% discount on all medicines,” he says. Along with medicines, Myra also sells health-related equipment and accessories such as OTC products, baby care products, blood pressure monitors, blood sugar test kits, etc. “At the moment, we do not offer diagnostic tests, however we may look at adding this feature in the future,” he added.
Myra has secured a Series A round of funding co-led by Matrix Partners India and Times Internet. Myra had previously raised an undisclosed seed round led by Matrix Partners India. Pranay Chulet, co-founder & CEO of Quikr, Prashant Malik, co-founder and CTO of LimeRoad, Vamsi Duvvuri, associate director of Vy Capital and Pankaj Gupta, former director-product of Twitter are among the angel investors who have invested in Myra. It is now looking to expand its operations in Bengaluru and Mumbai further and enter the Delhi NCR market.