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BW Businessworld

Health At A Click

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HealthKart, launched in March 2011, is an e-commerce company focused on consumer healthcare products. Within a year, it has grown to become India's largest e-health store, where consumers from all parts of the country find a large variety of healthcare products under one umbrella. The company sells over 12,000 products across fitness, health and personal care categories such as nutrition, diabetes, home devices, eye and personal care. HealthKart also sells various health services, such as preventive health packages, diagnostic tests and gym memberships, to provide one-stop solution for all consumer health needs.

On Monday, Healthkart announced acquisition of MadeInHealth, a premier online fitness and body-building community and supplement store which targets bodybuilders and fitness-enthusiasts (Read: Healthkart.com Buys Madeinhealth.com).



Here,  Sameer Maheshwari and Prashant Tandon, Joint MD, Healthkart.com, share with BW online's Poonam Kumar the idea behind Healthcart.com


What made you start this e-commerce portal? What is unique about your health portal? 
HealthKart (www.healthkart.com) is an e-Commerce company focused on consumer healthcare products. We sell over 12,000 fitness, health and personal care products across various health categories such as nutrition, sports & fitness, diabetes, home devices, eye and personal care. We started HealthKart when we realized that internet/e-Commerce was on the cusp of growth explosion, and it presented a viable medium of distributing thousands of consumer health products in a country, where organized retail such segment is mere 3 per cent. HealthKart's objective is to become go-to online destination for consumers for all their healthcare needs, we offer three-fold benefits to consumers - a) Authenticity – given the large counterfeit / grey market of healthcare products in the country, assurance to get genuine products, b) Assistance - proper education about the available products before purchase, and c) Access – one-stop-shop for getting maximum product range from any part of the country.

How many registered and unique visitors does your site have?
We have approximately 50,000 registered users and get approximately 600,000 unique visitors every month.

How do you plan to increase your sales?
In addition to improving our product portfolio, which already contains over 12,000 products, we plan to grow by leveraging online marketing channels, such as Google, Facebook, and social media. We also have a referral programme which helps in customer acquisition through word of mouth. Additionally, we focus a lot providing best of the breed customer service, which drives repeat purchases.

Who all do you consider competition?
There isn't any comparable healthcare focused eCommerce player, but we do have category specific competitors, such as firstcry.com, babyoye.com etc in baby and health categories.

Who are your potential target customers for health products?
We target different age groups for the various categories. Fitness products are targeted largely towards males in the 20-40 age group, audience for health products is 50+ males / females; and personal care and beauty products are largely focused at females in the 18-40 age group.

Do you have any tie-ups?  Also, how do you ensure quality of the products?

We have strong tie-ups with several brands such as Abbott, J&J and Roche, for procurement. Ensuring authenticity of products is one of our core value propositions; we procure either from authorized distributors or from manufacturers directly to deliver 100 per cent genuine products to our customers. We also have strong partnerships with almost all the premium logistics companies, such as BlueDart, DTDC, FedEx etc, which enables us to provide timely delivery of orders to customers. 

What is your revenue model?  When do you expect to break even?
We are a virtual retail store and our business model resembles any offline retailer's business model, but with superior economics. Revenue is generated by selling goods to consumers online and profits accrue via margins received from distributors / brands that sell through us. Our margins are typically higher than offline retailers, since we don't incur any real-estate costs. We further derive additional margins by procuring goods directly from manufacturers or authorized distributors, eliminating the middlemen in the process. In the early stages of e-commerce industry, we are currently investing heavily in customer acquisition and marketing, once that tapers off, we will break even, likely in 2-3 years.

What are your future plans? What is your projected revenue for the coming year on a half-yearly basis?
We wish to scale up the business at a sustainable pace. We are investing a lot in processes, analytics and automation, which will allow us to use capital efficiently, as we grow. We will likely do 20Cr of revenue in next 6 months. 

What payment systems do you use?
We offer both prepaid options, such as credit / debit cards, NEFT etc, and Cash on Delivery options to our customers. We have partnered with Techprocess and Citrus payment gateways to enable payment options on our website.

Is this your first e-commerce foray? Are you involved in offline business too?
Yes, this is our first e-commerce venture and the journey has been an incredible one thus far. We spent significant amount of time in the US and left very comfortable jobs to pursue entrepreneurship. But excitement to build something from scratch, which has a fair chance to redefine the distribution of health products in the country, has kept us going. We currently don't have any offline business.

Read Also: Healthkart.com Buys Madeinhealth.com