Hyderabad-based Apollo Hospitals Group will hive off its pharmacy business into a separate unit. The group also plans to increase the number of pharmacy retail outlets to 1,000 this year from the present count of over 700.
Confirming this, Shobana Kamineni, executive director, Apollo Hospitals, said, “The revenues from the pharmacy division are significant to make it a separate business. We are growing at 70 per cent, and it will be a matter of time when the retail pharmacy will generate more business than our other wings including hospital services.” The pharmacy division is expected to register a turnover of Rs 850 crore this year, as compared with Rs 600 crore last year.
The company has started expanding through the franchise model and is planning to add around 2,000 franchisees this year. “The mom-and-pop shops will find it difficult to grow considering the intense competition and narrow margins. Hence, we are partnering them.”