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Interview 2016-05-23

We are planning to expand our geographical presence to 15 cities by 2016 end: CareOnGo founder

Presently offering services across 8 cities in India, CareOnGo currently have close to 800 pharmacies associated with it, providing a highly efficient procurement platform for the micro-pharmacies.

We are planning to expand our geographical presence to 15 cities by 2016 end: CareOnGo founder

Backed with a strong background of pharmacy chain business, Yogesh Agarwal, Co-founder, CareOnGo had always seen Indian healthcare industry as highly unorganized, lacking transparency and patient trust. Thus, with an aim to bring convenience in healthcare to the user’s doorstep with end-to-end transparency and efficiency, CareOnGo was conceptualised.

“We witnessed flow of counterfeit medicines floating in the market. So, we came up with this idea of launching CareOnGo partner app for the pharmacies to source authentic medicines and supply them and build strength into the whole supply chain of healthcare,” informed Yogesh Agarwal, Co- Founder at CareOnGo.

Agarwal further narrated his entrepreneurial journey and intent to make Indian healthcare space much organised and structured.

About CareOnGo

Differentiating itself from other B2C focused healthcare players in the segment, CareOnGo aimed to redefine end-to-end solutions by catering to the needs of micro-pharmacies from both procurement and sales segments - focusing onto the B2B front. The company is providing point of sale (POS) solution to these pharmacies to streamline the payment process, both online and offline. The Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is linked to the inventory of the pharmacy, enabling real time availability of medicines and over-the-counter (OTC) products. The ERP solution uses the localized demand analytics data helping them in predictive inventory management for greater savings and better stock management.

The strong consumer focused app - CareOnGo not only allows consumers to buy medicines, but also create a transparency by allowing them to know their medicine needs better – side effects, salt details, dosage limits, cheaper substitutes and complimentary OTC products to buy along. The recommendation algorithm study, the browsing behaviour and buying pattern to suggest products, most needed to the consumers. The app is adding 25,000 chronic patients every month on the platform ensuring repeat business and standardized services for the pharmacies.

USP of CareOnGo

CareOnGo has grown tremendously and is being recognized as an integral platform by its partner/co-branded Pharmacies. The brand has also successfully delivered great value to each of its partner pharmacies by growing their top line by 20-30 per cent.

Current business size

CareOnGo is a mobile chain of branded pharmacy stores across India, enabling local pharmacies to Procure, Manage and Sell through Technology – Disrupting the Entire Supply Chain. Enabling 24x7 operations and predictive inventory management analysis, CareOnGo sets itself completely apart from the traditional online pharmacy, which deals in only consumer end dynamics.

With over 90 per cent of the Pharmacy Retail market operated by micro-entrepreneurs, CareOnGo ushers stand-alone pharmacies into the digital age, by expanding their consumer reach and enabling them with a purchase platform for their inventory. CareOnGo platform links with the inventory system of pharmacies, using its strong data algorithms, analyses varied trends and purchase patterns and providing a highly efficient procurement platform for the micro-pharmacies. Thus, by partnering with a large base of pharmacies, CareOnGo aims to use its technology to become the first e-distributor in this space.

We currently have close to 800 pharmacies associated with CareOnGo, with services across 8 cities.

Target consumers

Anyone who consumes medicines and other wellness products is our target audience. The consumer app has been designed in a way that anyone, right from a teenager to an elderly person, can order medicines and products through this app.

Distribution in brick & mortar space

We work on a co-branding model where we partner with micro-pharmacies and help them not only procure, but also manage and sell products. In the distribution space, we plan to expand to all tier I cities with eyeing on tier II cities too.

Funds rolling in

We’ve raised $300,000 in seed funding and an undisclosed amount in Pre Series A funding recently by a consortium of investors including Anupam Mittal and Anand Mittal of People Group; Ravi Garikipati, Head of Flipkart's ads business; Vibhu Garg, Co-Founder of Uni-commerce; Singapore Angel Network and Konglo Ventures. The round also saw participation from US, Singapore and Muscat-based investors.

The funds raised will be invested in research and technology development offerings, with special focus on analytics product. We will further expand our B2B offerings deeper into the pharmacies by providing seamless analytics, advance POS solutions and aggregating micro-pharmacies in India under a single umbrella of co-branding.

Team strength

We are currently a 21-Member team with workforce cut-across technology, marketing and business partnerships. We have a very open culture where employees can freely express their ideas, run pilots and implement the initiatives which would add to the business growth. Right from technology to marketing to business, all the team members work in close cohesion to introduce new initiatives in the company. We are a mix of senior as well as young team members, thus building the right mixture of adrenaline and experience in the culture.

High point in business

After initially bootstrapping the company with a small capital of Rs40 lakh, we were able to launch our first version of the App, which crossed 10,000 download in span of 15 days. Since then, CareOnGo has been adding feathers to its cap by reaching out to masses and catering to their medical needs.

Never ending struggle

The biggest challenge we’ve faced in introducing micro-pharmacies and super-stockist to the new-age technology. This sector has been devoid of technology from a long time and thus, the adoption becomes a challenge in the initial phase. However, with proper training and ease of using the apps, it is no more challenging.

Future scale-up

Pharmaceutical industry alone will be about $63billion by 2020 and with all the players getting weaved by technology, this industry will only grow large. We are currently present in 8 cities and planning to expand to 15 more cities by the year-end. We are in line to launch 18 new categories into our consumer-focused app. We plan to solve the problems of the end-consumers by connecting the dots backwards through technology. We are committed to our mission of providing a transparent, trusted, and reliable mobile chain of CareOnGo branded pharmacies. We will also be venturing into diagnostics by bringing the similar solution for local diagnostic labs.

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