Panaji: COVID-19 has taught us many ‘new normal’ concepts and amongst it is how to cut down on your physical engagement using online tools. Www.goanewshub.com met ISHA KHER, MD, BRIZZ MEDICAL PVT LTD, who has introduced a website for the people living in and around Panaji wherein you can get your medicines at the doorstep.
How did you think of starting this venture?
The idea of Brizz came to me around my third year of college, when I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree from Goa College of Pharmacy. It was around this time, I learned about the encroachment of online pharmacies. Online pharmacies are growing at a rapid pace and are a formidable threat to local retailers. Frost and Sullivan, a global consulting firm, has published in a report that online pharmacies are expected to grow at nearly 63% year and expected to touch a sales of a whopping Rs 25000 crore by 2022. This speedy growth of online pharmacies made me worried about local pharmacies, which will be overshadowed and thrown out of business by the online pharma giants.
Digging further, I realized that people didn’t like waiting in the queue for their medicines. Not finding a decent parking spot in crowded cities also brought its share of frustration. At the end of all these troubles, if met with “unavailability of stock” from the pharmacist over the counter, it would just increase their disappointment all the more and push them towards online pharmacies.
People didn’t have to do any of this while purchasing from an online store. A few clicks on their phone and medicines were delivered right to their doorstep. Online pharmacies have one important tool that local retailers lack. It’s the word ‘online’ itself. So, In today’s world where the internet is such an important tool, I figured that all that the local retailers lacked was systematic accessibility over the internet, which is what I decided to provide.
Is this a start up?
Yes, it is a start-up.
Why did you choose Goa?
We are Goans. I did my entire schooling from Mushtifund and acquired my bachelor’s degree from Goa College of Pharmacy. When I thought of the idea, the problem of finding and buying medicines resonated with my friends and family from Goa. It motivated me to do my part, to use my idea to help everyone around me and the public at large, to buy medicines hassle-free. With the progress we have made and the response that we have received so far, it is needless to say that Goa is just the start and I aspire to set an example that yes, we are a fun loving, nature loving Goans but when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship we can also compete with the best.
Tell us more about this venture
Well, local retailers in fact have tons of advantages over online stores, such as quicker logistics, proper patient guidance and counselling, storage and supply of cold chain products , just to name a few. There are over 8 lakhs pharmacies in the country and more than 1 lakh stockists. This means that currently more than 40 lakhs jobs (bread earners for nearly 1.5 to 2 crore people) are being threatened by the encroachment of online pharmacies. Majority of them cannot invest in an app which is as diverse, tech-strong and user-friendly. Those who do make an app find it very difficult to invest in advertisements to enhance their user base. Ultimately, if you consider one app per Pharmacy imagine the chaos it would result in and just to serve one purpose, i.e. to supply medicines to the users. So, instead I thought of making one app for all. With our solution, every pharmacy could become a smart pharmacy, and use the power of the internet to serve customers more efficiently in their localities. This would not only save the pharmacies the investment in tech but would also help them become more accessible and promote their business through the internet.
Users can pick up their pre-packed medicines on the go or have them delivered right at their doorstep within 24 hours. Users can choose to pay by cash or pay online via our payment gateway for seamless transactions.
When do you plan to expand it pan-Goa?
Currently due to COVID19, our plan to go all Goa has been on a slow burner. Pharmacies are facing pressures because of high demand and lesser number of employees during the lockdown, absence of transport among others. However, the people of Panaji largely benefited from it as we were already operational by the time Covid had hit. Now that the cases are reducing, we plan to launch our campaign and should be available pan Goa in the next couple of months. I am determined to make our services grow so that we could make reliable medicines easily accessible to every corner of our state.
We at Brizz, work tirelessly to expand our services and improve customer satisfaction and I continue to plan every step in making Brizz accessible pan-Goa. We are continuously taking in customers’ and pharmacists’ feedback and making changes to our software where it needs to be to make it more user- friendly.
How has been the response from people?
Being a new app, customers have been tremendously supportive and have provided patronage by reordering from us, giving us a chance to serve them better each time. We have been interactive with our customers to understand and improvise on our mechanisms.
We have been fortunate to deliver medicines to people in quarantine, to senior citizens, to sick pets, and have continued to deliver in heavy rains and in total lockdowns as well without setting a minimum order limit. People appreciate it and I feel truly fortunate to be able to provide such a service.
What are your future plans?
I want our services to be accessible throughout the country someday. It’s the dream and I work towards it every day.
We are currently focused on improving the web app such that it becomes easier for users to navigate and purchase their meds hassle-free, as well as for the stores to easily and quickly handle online enquiries whilst attending to in-store customers. We are also looking at expanding our services in more areas in the next few months.
Specify how anyone can buy medicine through your website.
It’s very simple. You log on to www.brizz.in from any web browser such as Google Chrome , safari, firefox etc. You can choose your requirements from a dedicated drop-down list or upload a photo of a prescription, product or written list and add your requirements to cart. Proceed to select the Pharmacy of your choice and opt for the pickup or the delivery option.Qualified pharmacies of the store will then confirm availability and the price of your requirements and you will be notified once they respond to your enquiry. Continue to place your order and proceed to pay online or via cash on delivery.
It’s as simple as that! The pharmacy will then keep your medicines packed and ready for you to collect them on the go without waiting in long queues at the store OR the medicines will be delivered right at your doorstep within 24 hours.