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When Digital Leads The Way

MedikaBazaar, through its digital platform, aims to bring in both transparency and efficiency to the system

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Medikabazaar has literally disrupted a market, where cuts and kickbacks were often the criteria for pricing and purchases. The concept of a digital platform for procurement and purchase of medical supplies is set to change market practices. Medikabazaar, one of the country’s largest online aggregators of medical supplies offers a host of services to hospitals, medical establishments and consumers.

“We have grown multiple times since inception over the last two-and-half years. Our month-on- month revenue growth has been more than market expectation and the customer additions have been fast and steady,” says founder Vivek Tiwari. “We have more than 6,600 hospitals and medical institutions on our platform and more than 70,000 stock keeping units in medical supplies,” says Tiwari.

The disruption was quite obvious in India’s medical supplies market with the entry of a more transparent online trade. According to Tiwari, there were a host of issues that prevailed in this market that proved detrimental to both consumers as well as manufacturers earlier. “The key problems were inefficient order tracking system, lack of price conscience of medical supplies, availability issues leading to delayed purchases, people driven quantity decisions, highly fragmented distribution in tier-2/3 cities and redundancies and kickbacks due to lack of awareness,” says Tiwari.

The market also faced issues such as the absence of real-time info about changing prices and offers, multiple intermediaries adding to price woes and unwarranted margins and capex inefficiency due to high blockage on unused medical devices and equipment, he says. So, the key changes that the online aggregator wanted to bring in were largely about the transparency and inventory efficiency. “We aim to become the largest procurement and supply chain partner with special focus on meeting demand on time and hassle-free ordering and also to reduce medical supplies procurement cost by as much as 30 per cent,” says Tiwari.

Certainly, it could bring in the digital solutions for identifying, comparing and buying products at a competitive price. The platform could also help innovative med-tech companies to reach out to customers and the customers to get updated about such innovations on a regular basis.

“Currently we have six operational offices across Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Gurugram (Delhi NCR), Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. With current team strength of more than 80 members and growing, Medikabazaar is determined to change the landscape of medical supplies in India,” informs 38-year-old Tiwari.
 
The digital platform, which could bring positive changes in the then complex structure of medical supplies, also made it easily accessible using technology and breaking all geographical barriers.

Medikabazaar has recently introduced MedikaRecycle (a marketplace for used and  refurbished medical equipment) aiming at reducing capex burden on medical institutions in tier-2/3 cities The company also facilitates SME financing options by partnering with various banks and financial institutions. It offers payment flexibility to medical institutions through this partnership. Two other schemes such as MedikaXlusive, which showcases exclusive medical products from domestic as well as international manufacturers on the platform, and MedikaStar, a B2B loyalty programme aimed at savings on every order, empower both the consumer and manufacturer in the marketplace.  

Medikabazaar is looking to close FY18 with at least $7.5 million in funding. The company has raised funds in pre-series ‘A’ funding in April 2017 from Rebright Partners, Sunil Kalra, an independent angel investor for early stage startups, and Arun Venkatachalam, an active India focussed angel investor. “We will shortly open fulfilment centres in many tier-2/3 cities to reduce the cost burden on logistics and meeting demand on time,” says Tiwari.

Growth potential: Medikabazaar now plans  to increase product portfolio from present 70K to 200K by 2018-19 and offer the largest medical supplies catalogue to customers globally.


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