Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced that its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) acquired a majority stake in the Chennai-based Vitalic Health Pvt. Ltd. and its subsidiaries (collectively known as 'Netmeds') for Rs 620 crore. The investment represents 60 per cent holding in the equity share capital of Vitalic and 100 per cent direct equity ownership of its subsidiaries, including Tresara Health Private Limited, Netmeds Market Place Limited and Dadha Pharma Distribution Pvt Limited.
Ms. Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Retail Ventures said the investment into Netmeds is aimed at providing digital access for everyone in India. "The addition of Netmeds enhances Reliance Retail's ability to provide good quality and affordable health care products and services, and also broadens its digital commerce proposition to include most daily essential needs of consumers."
Reliance Retail's foray into online pharmacy space comes days after Amazon India Amazon India rolled out its e-pharmacy service in Bengaluru and announced plans to conduct pilots in other cities.
Reliance Industries had launched an online grocery service JioMart in May, pitting it against Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc's Flipkart in the lucrative e-commerce market.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the e-pharma sector. With the lockdown confining people indoors, many first-time customers have taken to mobile pharma apps to order medicines from home.
Incorporated in 2015, Vitalic and its subsidiaries have been in the business of pharma distribution, sales, and business support services. Its subsidiary runs the online pharmacy platform, Netmeds that delivers medicines and provides doctor bookings and diagnostics through its website and mobile app.
The Dadha family ventured into the pharma retailing business far back in 1914 and into drug manufacturing in 1972, Reliance Industries said in the release.
Reliance Industries has raised more than $20 billion for digital arm, Jio Platforms in the past few months, including from the likes of Facebook and Alphabet's Google,
The shares of Reliance Industries had ended higher by 1.31 per cent at Rs 2,118.75 on Tuesday, ahead of the announcement.