Posted by Abe Sauer on October 30, 2009 09:26 AM
The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) is boosting the nation's vast pharmaceutical industry by moving toward cohesive branding.
By next February, the AIOCD plans to bring 20,000 retail pharmacies across India under one common brand. With the sector growing over 15% per year, the group says its target is 300,000 or more, to be brought under the common brand within several years.
While "branding" often brrings to mind massive global brands like Ford and Coca-Cola, the benefits of imposing a brand can be equally dramatic on local or regional enterprises. Under one brand, India's pharmacies will gain name recognition and a sense of service assurance, just as often-local pharmacy brands in the US like Walgreens and New York's Duane Reade stand as recognizable guarantees of service and product.
Undoubtedly, AIOCD's locations will offer scaled-up competition for India's existing retail pharmacy brands like as Apollo Pharmacy, which operates over 1,000 outlets across the country. While these brands may feel swamped by the sheer size of the new AIOCD alliance, they have a head start in profiting from brand-building. Apollo and Guardian Lifecare have taken the lead in developing private labels, with Bangalore-based Trust Pharmacy, Hyderabad-based MedPlus Pharmacy and Religare Wellness not far behind.