Ratan Tata picks up stake in an 18-year-old's pharmaceutical start-up

Tata makes his investment bets through RNT Associates Private Limited, the personal investment vehicle of the Tata group patriarch.
Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has picked up stake in Generic Aadhar, a pharmacy retail chain promoted by 18-year old Arjun Deshpande from Mumbai.

Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in the start-up in his personal capacity. He had earlier invested in another health care start-up called Lybrate, which helps connect patients with doctors.

Tata has invested in over a dozen other start-ups such as Firstcry, Paytm and Snapdeal. “When Ratan Tata came to know about the business plan, he decided to be a part of this mission in personal capacity and help Generic Aadhaar to reach every Indian,” said Arjun Deshpande, founder and CEO of the firm.

Generic Aadhaar follows a B2B2C model, under which it sources generic drugs directly from the manufacturer and provides it to the retailers, thereby cutting out the middlemen completely and delivering medicines to masses at a much lesser cost.

The start-up claims an annual revenue of Rs 6 crore and is looking at scaling it to Rs 150-200 crore in the next three years. It currently supplies diabetes and hypertension drugs but will soon start offering cancer drugs at rates much lower than the market price. It has tied up with four WHO-GMP certified manufacturers in Palghar, Ahmedabad, Pondicherry and Nagpur.

“Our mission is to provide senior citizens and pension holders the care they deserve with our idea of delivering inexpensive medicines which are required on a daily basis,” explained Deshpande. The start-up aims to partner 1,000 pharmacies on a franchisee-based model in the coming months and expand to markets like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, New Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat.

Tata makes his investment bets through RNT Associates, the personal investment vehicle of the Tata group patriarch. UC-RNT Fund is an alternative investment fund that partners RNT Associates and the University of California to jointly fund start-ups.


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