Druggist’s apex body to start 36 companies
/ New Delhi August 08, 2006.
The All India Organization of Chemists and
Druggists (AIOCD) is planning to float 36 companies
across the country to ensure they are able to
compete with big players in the drug retail
The First of these companies will be set up
in Mumbai at an initial investment of Rs 50
crore, which will be raised from the 40,000
medicine wholesalers and retailers in Maharashtra.
By March 2007, AIOCD hopes to raise Rs 100 crore,
and Rs 500-700 crore by March 2008, to set up
such companies in other states.
"Several financial institutions have already
approached us. After raising the initial Rs
50 crore from retailers and wholesalers in Maharashtra,
we will collect about Rs 500-700 crore to set
up more such companies in every state and Union
Territory in the country," says J S Shinde,
AIOCD general secretary and president of Maharashtra
State Chemists and Druggists Association (MSCDA).
The pilot project will take of in mumbai under
the aegis of MSCDA. The state druggist body
will then set up another company in Pune and
a third one in Nagpur.
These companies will later be merged under
the MSCDA Ltd. Depending on the rate of success,
35 such companies will be floated across the
country. AIOCD Ltd. will be the holding company
of this entire firm.
"We have already acquired office space
at Dadar and Parel in Mumbai. There will initially
be 11 directors to be appointed by MSCDA. According
to the need, the numbers of directors will be
raised to 50," Shinde said.
The drug retail trade is currently worth Rs
50,000 crorre in the country. This works out
to $4 per person per annum. In 4-5 years, this
figure is expected to double $8 per person per
annum. With India adopting GATT and WTO rules
on January 1, 2005, foreign investment in retail
trade has become inevitable.
Companies such as Appollo and Subiksha have
already started selling drugs in metro cities.
Besides, Reliance, Pantaloon, Godrej, and Global
giants like WallMart are waiting to enter the
retail trade and spread their wings to small
With huge Financial resources to back them,
the companies can start facilities like patient-counseling
in their retail spaces. Existing retailers could
thus lose businesses. The proposed company is
AIOCD's answer to the these retail chains.
AIOCD is looking to protect the interests of
drug retailers by centralizing purchase of medicines.
Although the company will initially focus on
organized drug wholesale, it will branch into
retail business later.
Also the company will make all data available
online. Thus chemists from anywhere in the country
can log on to the company's website and access
For providing better customer service, the
AIOCD has also decided to lay more emphasis
on continuing educational programs to upgrade
its members skills and give them suggestions
and help to serve customers most effectively.
"We have already started refresher courses
which is yielding positive results and has created
awareness amongst our trading community,"
The AIOCD is the apex body of the largest trade
organization of the country. All state chemists
associations are affiliated to the AIOCD.