While AskmeFresh will be competing with the likes of AmazonNow, BigBasket and PepperTap, AskmeMeds will compete with startups such as Pluss, 1mg and mChemist. According to a recent Morgan Stanley report, online grocery penetration was 0.03% in 2014 and is expected to increase to 2.9% by 2020.
The move comes at a time when the online grocery market in India seems to have hit a bump. Flipkart, Ola and Paytm shut their grocery service, while, Grofers and Peppertap closed their operations in nine and 10 cities, respectively.
“Being in grocery business for the last three years, we have perfected our model and have taken a conscious decision to enter now,” said Ankit Jain, CEO of AskmeGrocery. Last year, the Gurgaon-based company had acquired BestAtLowest, a grocery portal, for an undisclosed amount and integrated it into AskmeGrocery. The online pharma space is not even 1% of the retail sales hence there is a huge scope for us, he added.
According to a report, India Online Healthcare Products Market, the total revenue generated by the online sales of healthcare products in India was5,075.9 million in FY15 which has increased from 771.0 million in FY12, a CAGR of 87.4%.
Experts said that the online market is flooded with such options, unless a player brings something new on the table with a unique business model. “Such models are now going to impress only slow investors. As a consumer you get more choices, but then again the question is what is the value that you are adding and where is the money?” said Harminder Sahini, MD of Wazir Advisors.
Local search platform AskMe.com, owned by Getit Infomedia Pvt Ltd, currently has multiple platforms such as Askmebazaar, an online marketplace and AskmePay, a payment platform, under its wing.