Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Medicine's New Bankers - Express Pharma

Medicine's New Bankers - Express Pharma: "Retail is the new business mantra for the Indian healthcare industry, which has added a new dimension to healthcare. Just as you have bread and milk in your shopping list, you can now add a flu shot too.

In a first-of-its-kind venture in India, Manipal Group is rendering healthcare related services and sale of quality healthcare products, through its wellness stores. A comprehensive healthcare retail brand 'Manipal Cure & Care' (MCC), is a brain child of Dr Ranjan R Pai, Manipal Group CEO. MCC retail will be launched soon and would focus predominantly on wellness and preventive care in mall environment as well deliver the service offerings through qualified professionals. Each health store is estimated at Rs 2 crore–Rs 3 crore.

'It will be a holistic wellness centre,' explains Somnath Das, Chief Operating Officer, MCC. 'A one-stop-shop with seven specialities under one roof. We will target corporate houses, mall going crowd and megacities,' says Das. The consultations include all basic specialities such as general medicine, paediatrics, cosmetic dentistry, dermatology, ophthalmology and sports medicine.

There would also be instant medications available for cold, cough or flu, at 'Express Clinics'—a part of MCC. "We expect healthy people to come in a mall, but nevertheless, if somebody is looking for general treatment, they can avail of it at Express Clinics," informs Das. The Manipal Group believes that a patient can have a 'fun' environment to treat flu, than that provided by a clinic or a hospital. The joint venture, formed at an initial investment of Rs 10 crore, will be headquartered in Bangalore and the first MCC store will come up on a 7,000 square feet space on Old Madras Road, Bangalore, likely by May 2007. Existing pharmacies of both companies will now come under the ambit of MCC.

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