India: Flipkart enters e-pharmacy sector, acquires majority stake in Sastasundar

India's e-health sector is expected to balloon from $1.2 billion at present to $16 billion in fiscal 2025.

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Reuters file
Reuters file

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 4:18 PM

The e-pharmacy sector in India, growing at a feverish pace with major business groups including Tatas, Reliance and even Amazon making aggressive forays of late, has got a new player: e-commerce major Flipkart.

“The consumer internet ecosystem in India is growing rapidly as consumers recognise the opportunities and convenience that digital adoption is enabling in their lives,” said Ravi Iyer, senior vice-president and head, corporate development, Flipkart. “With growing awareness and focus on health heightened by the pandemic, there is a large opportunity and demand for affordable healthcare and ancillary offerings.”

Flipkart has signed definitive agreements to acquire majority stake in Sastasundar Marketplace, which owns and operates, its online pharmacy and digital healthcare platform.

According to Ravi Kant Sharma, founder and CEO, SastaSundar Healthbuddy, the new partnership “is a strong validation of the capabilities we have built,” and will accelerate the company’s aim to provide affordable healthcare to all in India.

The e-health sector in the country is expected to balloon from $1.2 billion at present to $16 billion in fiscal 2025, according to RedSeer Consulting, a research firm. The overall healthcare sector in India will top the $350 billion-mark by then.

However, many of the new e-pharma players are facing challenges including delayed finalisation of rules by the government.

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