A MedTech start-up is building a network of pharmacies and trying to do what OYO has done in the hospitality space. MedleyMed, a subsidiary of BSE-listed Athena Global Technologies Ltd, says it is building an asset-light model, aggregating the pharmacies in the unorganised sector.

“We are going to expand the reach of the standalone pharmacies that can’t imagine going online with their limited resources,” M. Satyendra (Satish), Managing Director of MedleyMed and Athena Global Technologies, told BusinessLine .

Building a new e-commerce pharmacy involves a lot of investments and effort, he points out. Piggybacking on MedleyMed’s online brand, neighbourhood pharmacies, which are facing a tough competition from big pharmacies and branded stores, can hope for additional revenues.

Under one brand

The aggregated network of pharmacies will sell medicines and health-related products online under the brand name of MedleyMed. “We will onboard them on the technology platform and help them in inventory management, besides offering the MedleyMed tag. People would like to go to a branded store,” he said.

Presently in the beta-test mode in 25 pharmacies in Hyderabad, the model will be expanded to other stores in Hyderabad and other cities. MedleyMed comes with different revenue model. In one model, it would take care of the complete inventory, while the retailer would run the store on a 20 per cent margin on the MRP. In the other model, the store owner pays a monthly licence fee for using the brand name and technology.

Besides this online window, MedleyMed is also working on a digital platform for hospitals, clinics, doctors, drug manufacturers and pharmacies, providing them with end-to-end supply chain solutions.

Cost saving method

“Our platform enables retail pharmacies to purchase drugs directly from manufacturers or lowest cost distributors, leading to considerable cost savings,” he said. “We are offering business-to-business and business-to-consumer solutions and a telemedicine platform that can be white-labelled by hospitals,” he said.

Athena Global has invested ₹30 crore in the last three years in building MedleyMed, which has 100 employees. Satyendra said the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered demand for digital healthcare products and solutions such as director-to-consumer (retail health and wellness), director-to-patient (care management) and direct-to-employee (a combination of the other two).

“We are aiming at targeting these opportunities with our software-as-a-service (Saas) based telemedicine and SaaS-based enterprise resource planning and point of sales technology platforms,” he said. The company is also making a foray into the US and African market by launching these products there.