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Dialforhealth into organized Pharmaceutical Retailing
Dialforhealth India Ltd (DFH), an ISO 9001:2000 organisation has pioneered organized pharmaceutical retailing and IT based initiatives. Headquartered in Ahmedabad along-side Zydus Towers, DFH is setting up a chain of professionally managed Pharmacy stores in Mumbai and Pune.
The need for the chain-of-Pharmacy initiative was felt due to basic service-gaps in the prevailing pharmaceutical retailing scenario. The no. 1 among these is the increasing menace of look-alike spurious brands, well documented by an India-Today report [Jan 29, 2001]. The company plans to bridge this gap through its 'Good Purchasing Practices', e.g. buying from wholesalers authorized by manufacturing companies of repute. The next big issue is of proper storage temperature, as most antibiotics & vitamins based formulations and all capsules are required to be stored below 30oC according to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, else they may lose potency. Dialforhealth pharmacies are air-conditioned and have laid down storage areas for different drugs as per the stipulated storage temperatures. Other issues like overcharging [mostly in disguise of local taxes] and substitution [selling a substitute of what the doctor has prescribed] are being taken care of.
Buying medicines has never been an experience as it is always need based. Dialforhealth wants to add service orientation by offering ambience & care to its customers. Branded as 'dialforhealth: A healthy experience at no extra cost', the name 'dialforhealth' is suggestive of the additional facility of telephonic orders, which are home-delivered at no extra cost within 3km from the pharmacy. In addition, dialforhealth pharmacies also offer free routine check-ups e.g. weight, blood pressure, body-fat content etc to regular customers.
DFH started its operations by opening of 2 pharmacies in Mumbai in the month of May 2001. The chain has ever since been expanding in a phased manner. The period between Dec 2001 and Feb 2002, saw the DFH team go all out as they opened 3 pharmacies in Dec. and subsequently another 4 in Feb, 2002. March witnessed the launch of Dialforhealth's first store in Pune. The responses the pharmacies are receiving are indeed encouraging. Introduced for the first time to the concept of quality service in medicine buying, customers are not just happy but rather delighted. The additional healthcare benefits being provided by the pharmacies like free diagnostic camps where blood pressure, blood sugar, body-fat content check-up is done, leaves the customers impressed. The pharmacies also provide services like detailed information on customer queries pertaining to healthcare needs and also arranges for appointments with doctors. Customers also appreciate the auto-refill facility provided by DFH, wherein medicines are delivered to them at regular intervals. This service removes the hassles of one having to remember to purchase fresh stock of medicines or finding that one is out of medicines. Customers who take medicines regularly like diabetic, high blood pressure patients find this service very useful.

In today's competitive markets, it is service, especially service with a smile, that is the differentiating factor and which decides who the winner would be. A customer visiting a DFH pharmacy is genuinely surprised to find friendly pharmacists greeting her with a smile. Medicines are not just sold at DFH pharmacies, rather they are dispensed in the right manner, with the patient being educated about the dosage and do's and don'ts while on medication. Should the customer have more queries, detailed information is provided to her.

Dialforhealth is presently focusing on Mumbai (link to Aamchi Mumbai) for its retail operations. It has ambitious plans of expanding its services to newer areas of Mumbai and to larger sections of the society. On the operational front, DFH is moving towards centralized purchases to realize economies of scales. This will also improve the service of the pharmacies ensuring that the goods reach the shelves at the right time.

When it comes to systems and operations, Dialforhealth is ensuring that the best management practices are in place. Dialforhealth stands for quality products with quality service, which makes it a healthy experience at no extra cost for the customers.


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