Start-ups tap vaccine supply demand

Mamuni Das | Updated on April 18, 2021

Changing times: Companies eye the burgeoning medicine and vaccine delivery sector   -  ISTOCK.COM

Boost for medicine delivery systems

The ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive, coupled with a surge in new cases, has prompted companies such as Biddano, MTAP Technologies and PLUSS Advanced Technologies to tweak their businesses and devise solutions to tap an emerging business potential.

Biddano, a start-up that delivers medicines to pharmacies from distributors within two or three hours in a city, has devised a cold chain solution for delivering Covid-19 vaccines. A pilot project on this will be launched soon.

“We are in talks with vaccine manufacturers for the pilot project,” Biddano Cofounder Talha Shaikh told BusinessLine.

The platform, which distributed medicines free to hospitals, old age homes and NGOs during the pandemic-triggered lockdown last year, plans to expand from six cities to 24 in one year, for which it is looking to raise funds. It is now present in Surat, Ahmedabad, Thane, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

Biddano’s software predicts the demand from chemists and the company engages dedicated two-wheeler riders, auto rickshaws and small trucks from third party logistics firms for a speedy delivery. It is also tying up with start-ups that provide temperature-controlled boxes, in which vaccine vials can be moved and tracked till delivery, Shaikh said.

The company is working with state regulatory authorities in Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for the delivery of Covid-19 related products such as Remdisivir and other injectables, some of which are in short supply.

MTAP Technologies has transitioned from providing route optimisation solutions (pre-Covid-19) for people transportation to large offices. It plans to soon launch a similar solution for cargo movers and is also focusing on unorganised, small cab owner-drivers who move people from one city to another in the backdrop of the pandemic, MTAP Technologies CEO and Co-Founder Srinivas Chitturi said.

MTAP expects to onboard platforms delivering medicines for its services. There is a huge demand for such route optimisation services not just in India but abroad because of the pandemic.

Non-IT companies (such as e-commerce warehouses, manufacturing companies and pharmaceuticals) are using such route optimisers in the “people movement” space, said Chitturi. Before the pandemic, largely IT companies used MTAP’s solution, he said, pointing out that its early client list included SAP Labs, Intel, Tesco, Target, Bank of New York and BNP Paribas.

MTAP’s route optimisers also take into account containment zones, sourcing data from city authorities, users and GeoIQ, a map service provider, which launched a containment zone service data platform.

Within weeks of launch of the small cab service, 1,000 vehicles (unorganised cabs) subscribed to MTAP’s solution. The number was expected to rise to 100,000 in 18 months.

PLUSS Technologies, a start-up which provides temperature-controlled transport solutions, is tapping new avenues. It saw its pharma packaging business grow by about 200 per cent in the last 12 months on the basis of demands from pharma companies, pharma logistics companies and others, according to a company official.

Published on April 18, 2021

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