Delivery executives at online pharmacies earn between Rs 50-60 per order and fulfill up to 25 orders a day.
Medlife, which is doing about 20,000 orders a day, has also tied up with several non-essential services such as Uber, Yulu and Zoomcar to use their fleet of vehicles for deliveries. It has also partnered with other start-ups such as Bigbasket and MyGate to jointly drop essentials to consumers located in Covid-19 hotspots, as a single order.
PharmEasy, which is currently managing orders on its own and has not gone for any tie-ups is also ramping up on staff. “All our partner warehouses and retailers are struggling with manpower, so we are looking at filling in 1,500-2,000 positions,” said Dharmil Sheth, Co-founder, PharmEasy.
While online medicine delivery, which has been identified as an essential service, is returning to normal, players operating in this field fear that there could be another spell of confusion and restrictions once more hotspots are identified during the extended lockdown
period. “We have been seeing positive signs in inter-state movement of medicines. However, all that could change given that new hotspots might emerge and things might get tough again,” said Tanmay Saksena, Chief Operating Officer at 1mg.
1mg is currently operating with 70 per cent of its original manpower. Saksena said the company is arranging transportation and curfew passes so that more staffers can return to work.
“We are currently experiencing an increase in demand of three to four times for hand sanitisers, masks, and immunity boosters. Hence, we will be hiring 500 people immediately and will need 1,000 more in the next 2-3 months to fulfil the rising demand and shortage of manpower,” said Saksena.
According to a Frost & Sullivan report, e-pharmacies
market in India are expected to reach $3.6 billion (Rs 25,000 crore) by 2022, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63 per cent from 2018, when says the market stood at around $512 million (Rs 3,500 crore).