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MedPlus forays into Gujarat with plans of 200 stores

The organised retail health sector in Gujarat seems to be hotting up. After pharmacy and wellness chains of Apollo and Reliance, now Hyderabad-based MedPlus Health Services Pvt Ltd, one of the fastest growing chain of health network, is marking its foray into Gujarat by launching its pharmacies in Ahmedabad. By 2009, the company is planning to set up 200 company-owned stores in Gujarat at an investment of Rs 25 crore, said Apu Gupta, chief operating officer (north India) of MedPlus Health Services Pvt Ltd. The company will also set up an integrated health centre (IHC), featuring all three lines of business including pharmacy, diagnostic lab and family clinic. “Unlike our competitors, we are looking at catering to the most local customers and will try to be present in almost every neighbourhood to provide better accesibility to quality branded medicines and health services. Moreover, we will be operating at a lower price point as compared to others,” said Gupta. The company will set up IHCs and pharmacy stores in a ratio of 1:10 under a hub and spoke model in Gujarat. Typically, while a MedPlus pharmacy store is spread across an area of 300-400 sq ft, an IHC can be as big as 1,500-2,000 sq ft of area. Currently, MedPlus Health Services runs around 400 pharmacy stores across five states, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, catering to over 25,000 customers daily. Once post 500 outlets, the company plans to go for franchisee-based model for 75 per cent of its stores, said Gupta. The INR 100 crore company has set a target of setting up 1,000 pharmacy outlets by March 2009, alongwith 100 IHCs. The company employs nearly 2,000 people throughout its footprint and expects to have a pan-India presence by year end.

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