Apollo Pharmacy to push expansion and add 250 outlets every year

Apollo Pharmacy, subsidiary of Indian healthcare major Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, is on an aggressive plan to add 250 outlets to its portfolio every year, a top executive of the company recently said.

"We would able to add 250 outlets every year. We have grown between 30 to 35 per cent every year," Apollo Pharmacy vice president Atul Ahuja was quoted saying in a report published by PTI.

The company has been witnessing a consistent demand from metros and other cities, according to Ahuja.

Commenting on the feasibility of home delivery of medicines, Ahuja said, "Yes it is feasible, but the law of the land says that the dispensing of the medicines has to be done by qualified pharmacists. That has to be changed," he said.

At present, Apollo Pharmacy employs around 10,000 people, according to Ahuja.

He added that dispensing has become a critical aspect in the pharmacy retail chain business, which includes transportation, warehousing in proper cold environment and distribution; these are managed at the backend.

"This entire work of supply chain management right from procuring to warehousing and sale at outlets is done by experienced pharmacists," he said.

Apollo Hospitals, which saw its net profit jumping by 13.2 per cent in Q1 FY14, reported the highest revenue jump among its subsidiaries from pharmacy business. Apollo Pharmacy saw 22.83 per cent rise in revenue for Q1 FY14 at Rs 304.2 crore year-on-year. Margins rose in the pharmacy business with the segment profit growing 71.5 per cent in the same period to Rs 6.5 crore. Apollo Pharmacy has over 1,500 outlets in the country.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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