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A Complete Guide To Starting A Pharmacy Business

by Tandava Krishna

When we entered 2020, we were hoping for a brand-new start and the resolutions about earning more getting fit were made but destiny had some other plans for us and the globe was hit by coronavirus and COVID-19. The ambitions were knocked down and the world was locked-down. The schools shut and businesses were lost. The only sector the world saw rising was the ‘Essential Service Sector’ where healthcare and sanitation workers were of prime importance and we were allowed to leave our houses only for food and medicines. We saw our local Pharmacists at the frontline beating the COVID-19 pandemic, helping us during this delirious time and… earning profit. It was the business that was running when everything else was shut and more likely so because when it comes to essentiality pharmacy takes to spot number 1. 

Pharmacy is not a sector that changes with time. The drugs that were consumed to treat headaches long ago are being used even now. Brands of these medicines may change and there can be an advancement in the drug components, but you always need a pharmacy to distribute those drugs to you. The pharmacy business has always been big but after the pandemic, it is being noticed even by the common people that investing in it is a good idea but not everyone can open up a pharmacy. Let’s have a look at how you can set up a pharmacy business in India. 

Create a Plan 

India is known for its various medicinal techniques such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, allopathy, decide beforehand what kind of pharmacy you want to open. Decide what will be your reach and your location. If you want just an offline store or you are willing to extend to an online store? If it is offline will you also hand out deliveries and if it is also an online store what will be your area of service. Make a plan for what is going to be the size of your pharmacy at first. The growth will only follow if you thrive in the market.

Permits and Licences

To open a pharmacy business, you much have a long list of permits and licenses that are assigned to start this business. Drug licenses in India are issued by The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and State Drugs Standard Control Organization. The standards are prescribed by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization where the State Drugs Standard Control Organization grants the licenses after assessing certain parameters such as the area of the pharmacy shop, infrastructure, and whether the pharmacist has the minimum qualification to open a pharmacy business.
Along with this, you’ll need to get yourself registered as a business person, get your GST registration, and all sorts of licenses and permits are done. Make sure you are ready with all the paperwork and to take multiple rounds of government offices because opening any business in India calls for this.

Location and storage space

You will have to rent/ buy a place where you can store your product and display them. Keep in mind that the location of your store matters a lot. A market place with high footfall is necessary. You can rent a place near a Hospital where you know even if there is competition, the demand is always going to be high and whenever customers visit the other shops, they are more likely to see your shop too. If you are renting a place away from the hospital or clinic, be aware of the competition around. Try to locate yourself when there are lesser pharmacies. Also, keep in mind the storage capacity of your store. The infrastructure should be such that it is easier to organize and label the medicine so whenever a customer comes to your shop, there is no delay or confusion about the location of medication in your shop.  

Have the right distributor

Make sure you have a distributor who can easily make you available with the supply whenever you demand them and have access to the drug that is being prescribed by doctors in your locality. If you want to have a successful pharmacy business, you should know that customers should not go empty-handed just because you did not have that drug available on that day and if not that, keep an option that can replace the drug demanded by them. 

Delivery and Marketing

Nowadays many pharmacies are keeping the option of providing home delivery services of the medicines to the nearby localities. It is a very good option as it builds a good rapport with your pharmacy in that locality and people will most definitely recommend you to their peers. But don’t go overboard with the boundary. Deliver in the circle which you have set and expand only when your business is expanding or you will lose out on your profit.
You can also set up a website for your pharmacy and bring your business into the e-commerce world. Put up pages on Facebook and Instagram and develop a strong SEO, and invest in marketing offline up ads with discounts for your regular customers. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. Since you have an offline store and most customers will save your number for future reference, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one to one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.

The pharmacy business is very popular but you have to understand that it comes with a lot of accountability. You have to be qualified enough and have minimum education required to open up a pharmacy. You cannot leave your shop in the hands of an underqualified person. You must understand the responsibilities that come with the pharmacy business that involves taking care of a person’s life. Be responsible! All the best!

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