Tata takes on Reliance in online pharmacy battle with 1MG acquisition: 10 points


Tata Digital, a unit of Tata Sons, on Thursday said it will acquire a majority stake in online healthcare marketplace ‘1MG’. The company has been on an aggressive acquisition spree as it recently made investments in online grocer BigBasket and fitness start-up CureFit.

1MG is a digital consumer healthcare platform which lets health-related products delivered at home along with lab tests and online doctor consultation.

Tata’s 1MG acquisition announcement comes after last year in August 2020, Reliance Industries through its retail subsidiary had acquired majority equity stake in online pharmacy Netmeds’ parent company Vitalic for approximately ?620 crore.

Amazon India last year had also launched an online pharmacy in Bengaluru called Amazon Pharmacy allowing customers to order over-the-counter and prescription-based medicines.

Key highlights of the deal:

-Tata digital will acquire a majority stake in 1MG Technologies Ltd.

-The company, however, did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

-Tata Digital in a statement said that the investment in 1MG is in line with Tata Group’s vision of creating a digital ecosystem that addresses the consumer needs across categories in a unified manner.

-Tata Digital said e-pharmacy, e-diagnostics and tele-consultation are critical segments in this ecosystem and have been among the fastest growing segments in this space, as this sector enabled access to healthcare through the pandemic.

-The overall market is around $1 billion and is expected to grow at around 50 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) driven by increased health awareness among consumers and greater convenience. This category will form a key element of the Tata Digital ecosystem offering.

-“The investment in 1MG strengthens Tata’s ability to provide superior customer experience and high-quality healthcare products and services in the e-pharmacy and e-diagnostics space through a technology-led platform,” said Pratik Pal, chief executive officer (CEO) of Tata Digital.

-1MG Co-founder and CEO Prashant Tandon said, the investment by the Tatas “marks a significant milestone in 1MG’s journey to make high-quality healthcare products and services accessible to customers across India.”

-Started in 2015, 1MG is among the leading players in the eHealth space and enables easy and affordable access to a wide range of products like medicines, health and wellness products, diagnostics services and tele-consultation to customers.

-The company currently operates three state-of-the-art diagnostic labs, has a supply chain covering over 20,000 pincodes across the country and through its subsidiaries is also engaged in the business of B2B distribution of medicines & other healthcare products, the statement said.

-Tata Digital has been steadily building its super-app, under which it looks to bring all the Tata Group consumer businesses and offer digital services including payments, financial products, e-commerce, and e-grocery services.

Last month, Tata Digital had acquired a majority stake in online grocery seller BigBasket for an undisclosed sum of money, pitting it against the likes of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance and Amazon. The deal would pit the salt-to-software conglomerate against Ambani’s JioMart, Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart for a pie of the online grocery business that has grown exponentially during the pandemic.

Separately, the subsidiary of Tata Sons is also going to invest up to $75 million (around ?550 crore) in fitness startup CureFit.

News Source:- Livemint

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