The healthcare industry is an evergreen sector as medicines will never go out of need. It is estimated that in the next four years, it will more than double to $133 billion is the target goal.
The medical industry is a good prospect for business in India as the profit margin is quite high. India is the largest supplier of medicines globally, occupying a 20 percent share in the global market. India is the source of more than 60,000 general brands and 60 holistic and therapeutic categories.
With an overall Rs. 4,300 crore turnover and a network lasting to more than 3,000 stores in more than 400 cities and towns spread all over India, Apollo Pharmaceuticals aims to reach an Rs. 10,000 crore turnover in the next 4-5 years. The brand aspires to provide a holistic health care facility to its customers, regardless of their age, gender or their illness.
In this article we will explain you everything about Apollo pharmacy franchise, and how you can start one.
Founded by Dr. Prathap C. Reddy in the year 1983, Apollo Pharmacy was one of the first corporate health centers in India. Dr. Reddy, Chairman of Apollo Hospitals group has been felicitated with the prestigious Padma Vibhusan, India’s second highest civilian award.
With over 3500 outlets in more than 18 states, Apollo established the largest and most exquisite medical chain. A decade ago, Suneeta Reddy took over the executive functions of Apollo Hospitals alongside her three sisters. Initially, the functioning was a bit jumbled and then years later, there are visible signs that their efforts are about to get paid off.
USP of Apollo Pharmacy
Online and offline chain
The products are available for online as well as on location purchase, billed according to the mode. Customers can search and upload their prescriptions online and browse through the medicine section to get their pick. Later they can add the purchase to the cart and select different payment options.
Focus on key areas
The strategy Apollo is running by is to focus on and strengthen the areas they already have a grip on. Those areas fall under South India where they have a big reach and need integration of all the projects as a whole, West where they have established outlets and then more focus on the East and North.
Apollo is focused more on growth and expansion and then on the profitability of the products. The company wants to generate revenue from the existing investments and placing weight on the getting cash flow from their major asset – Hospitals.
Apollo realized there are a vast demand and supply graph that needs dire attention from the experts. There will always be people willing to pay if you give them things to pay for. And this theory made them climb on the top of the chain of pharma business.
Asia’s largest health care group with a global presence in Hospitals, Pharmacies, Nutrition, Nursing products, Home testing kits, Weight management, Sexual health, Vitamin supplements, Diagnostic Clinics, and Primary care. Other than medicines, Apollo houses skin care, baby care, oral hygiene, OTC drugs and other FMCG items that increase the overall revenue generation.
Benefits of opening a Apollo Pharmacy franchise
The reputation of the brand
Apollo pharmacies have made itself a well-renowned brand and the franchise owner will get a great discount from the wholesalers.
Medicines, hospitals, and pharmacies are recession proof and do not get under the influence of economic rise and falls.
Provides better and detailed access to world-class technologies with access to the newest drugs, is open to partnerships and exposure to the business.
The employees learn more about medicines and health care by engaging in the field. Management of prescriptions and arranging medicines according to their needs and maintaining a log book for all the sales and restocks.
Requirements to start an Apollo Pharmacy Franchise
If you want to take up a franchise for a pharmacy, there should be a willingness to adapt to the ever-changing market. Use and gather knowledge, find your and the franchise’s strengths and weaknesses beforehand.
There should be adequate drug licensing to operate and work in a pharmacy. Operating without a proper license is a punishable offense, under form 19. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and State Drugs Standard Control Organization take the role of drug licensing in India.
Retail drug license where you obtain a license to operate a general retail pharmacy outlet. The other kind of license is a Wholesale drug license, where you seek authorization to open and run a wholesale business of drugs and other pharmaceutical and personal care products.
To get the licensing, you’ll need to go to your state pharmacy board and apply for a pharmacy license and get the registration done.
There should be GST registrations done for billing purposes. Certain medicinal drugs are charged at different taxes: 5 percent, 12 percent, and 18 percent.
To acquire a drug license you must give proper following documents:
- ID such as Voter’s ID, Aadhar card, PAN card, etc, and Address proof
- Application form, declaration certificate
- Affidavit of a registered pharmacist or a competent person working
- Proof of ownership of the required premises, a blueprint for the premises and possession
The area requirements for a small pharmacy are a minimum of 10- 15 square meters. In the case of the megastore, which combines retail and wholesale both, a minimum of 15 square meters is required.
There should be provision for storage air conditioning and refrigerator. In that respect, the pharmacy should have a billing counter with a computer and a printer, also shelves to stack the medicines and other products such as diapers and sanitary pads, etc.
The outlet should be located in a crowded area to ensure maximum customer turnover. Most preferred places are in an upscale residential complex, or next to a chain store pharmacy, next to a hospital, near a stationary or in a market place.
Skills or experience required
A registered pharmacist who is approved by the pharmacy department, or a graduate with 1-year experience in handling drugs or a person who has passed in S.S.L.C alongside 4 years of experience in drug management specially approved by the department of drug control.
A pharmacist is required to have a Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm.D), a post-graduate professional degree and background in medical. A pharmacist should keep studying throughout their career to keep updated with the latest medical advancements.
A pharmacist is required to check, fill and prescribe medications correlating to the patient’s current needs, as prescribed by the doctor. A pharmacist should check if any new drug will negatively react with any other drug on the prescription or the past medical records. In the pharmacy, there should be enough provisions for stocking new medications when the old ones expire.
A pharmacist should be equipped in giving flu shots and primary caregiving services. A pharmacist should dispense the needles and other equipment safely.
To instruct patients and tell them how many doses and when to take the drugs, inform patients about health care(if asked). They should check and complete insurance forms that come into their guidance, keep records of the medical bills and other practices.
Regions of operation
Apollo pharmacy is available in all regions and cities of India. The franchise is open in North India, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha, Chattisgarh, West Bengal. You should choose a location that is not already filled with the same kind of businesses, or it would not yield the maximum success. The place should be hygienic and should be clean and regularly sanitized.
A pharmacist after completing training may need a one to two-year residency. Pharmacists who complete their two-year residential training receive additional training in specialty areas of focus.
A trained pharmacist should overlook and monitor the training and give inputs to the intern. The training requires an intern to know the basic medical knowledge, how a drug works and what drug is supposed to work for a specific ailment.
The staff should have basic awareness for the rules and regulations that keep updating themselves, such as Schedule B (Rule 98) of Drugs and Cosmetic Act (1948) elaborates the usual shelf life is almost 1-5 years. Beyond the expiry of any drug in the pharmacy, it should be discarded to avoid the spread of toxic fumes. Schedule H lists the prescription drugs that can only be available for sales in a pharmacy under a registered practitioner.
Minimum staff requirement
At the minimum, in a pharmacy, there should be 2 employees. There should always be a qualified pharmacist on the field to assist and help others. No medicines should be issued without the permission of a qualified pharmacist. A regular pharmacist works full time in the shop and should be accompanied by another employee.
How Much Does it Costs to Start an Apollo Pharmacy in India?
The expected investments for Apollo pharmacy for a single unit franchise falls between Rs. 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs.
Depending on the area, the rent will cost between ten thousand to twenty-five thousand per month. If the land is purchased, expect a price of ten to twenty lakhs.
The monthly expenses will be around 20 to 40 thousand. The refrigerator will cost around Rs. 10 to 25 thousand and is typically used for drugs such as insulin, vaccines, etc.
The initial stock of medicines will be around 50 thousand to 1 lakh and may decrease simultaneously with offer discounts and credit facilities. Medicines need to be restocked as per demand and expiry.
The documentation and franchise license is roughly Rs. 25,000 including Rs. 3,000 registration fee. The furniture, chairs, drawers, tables, air conditioners, and shelves should come around Rs. 2 lakhs. The computer and printer should come around Rs. 50 thousand.
For a master franchise, the investment is for Rs. 10 lakhs to 15 lakhs. The average salary of a pharmacist is Rs. 1,65,000 to 2 lakhs per year. A pharmacist’s assistant earns Rs. 1,50,000 to 2 lakhs.
The franchise is renewable and the working staff that comprises of one pharmacist and two employees get around Rs. 65,000 per month for 24×7 service. The medicines should be sent from a chemist shop with proper retail licensing. Apollo hospitals have noticed a rise in profits by 71 percent.
There are millions of people who rely on themselves n medications to sustain themselves daily. India did not allow a patent on medicines, before 2005.
The health care expansion in India started with provisions being made for payment rather than profit. In rural households, people are not as willing to pay much for medical treatments.
To manage the expenses, Apollo decided to sells medicines at a lower rate that is affordable to people of all economic backgrounds.
India’s pharmaceutical market witnessed a 17 percent growth with Rs. 137 billion ($ 3 billion) over the previous fiscal year, since then India has come a long way.
India produces a huge quantity of bulk drugs which are usually the basic element of every drug production. Bulk drugs make up usually one- fifth of the industry.
At this moment, Indian companies produce and supply more than 80 percent of anti-viral drugs used to globally combat AIDS.
The pharmaceutical industry in India is a booming market, OTC drugs or Over the Counter drugs, constitute around 21 percent of the market meanwhile, patent drugs own 9 percent share.