How to Start Pharmacy Retail Chain Business?

How to start Pharmacy Retail Chain BusinessHow to Start Pharmacy Retail Chain Business?

One of the evergreen sectors to start a business is Pharma and Healthcare. The pharmacy market has seen an average growth of approximately 18% since the last decade. These numbers are expected to further increase in the future. Although there are several stores there, it’s still a huge market for more medical stores/pharmacies to penetrate the market. If you are aspiring entrepreneur who are looking to start small, but want to grow faster in short to long term perspective, Pharmacy Retail Chain Business could be a good business idea. If you are one among such person looking at How to start Pharmacy Retail Chain Business, this article is for you? We would provide step-by-step guidance on starting a pharmacy retail chain business.

What is a Pharmacy retail chain business?

Pharmacy retail chains refer to any pharmaceutical company having multiple medical stores or pharmacies. There are approximately 20 lacs retail pharmacies in pan India. Having a more structured format of the pharmacy retail chains can be a successful business idea as the chains have a much stronger brand image and they save a lot through bulk purchase orders. The staff of a pharmacy retail chain consists of pharmacists, management staff and helpers.

Why to start a Pharmacy retail chain business?

Opening up a basic pharmacy might involve a small investment, but have a competitively shorter life because of excessive competition in the market. On the other hand, having a pharmacy retail chain business might involve huge investments but in the long-term perspective, it has a brilliant growth opportunity. When the health of a person is concerned, they lookout for quality and trusted options. Pharmacy retail chains can later give out the franchise and further reduce the costs of purchase through big purchase orders. In turn, they can also provide discounts and offers to its customers thereby becoming a preferred choice by providing quality and branded medicines at lower costs.

Pharmacy Retail Chain Business is one of the profitable evergreen business ideas which works well in normal economy, during a recession or even during covid times.

A step-by-step guide on how to start Pharmacy Retail Chain Business in India

If someone is planning to start a pharmacy retail chain business they need to start with proper market analysis and a business plan with practical budget. If you’re planning to open a single retail pharmacy it might not be very difficult. However, opening up a chain of pharmacies would require some planning. Below are some key things you need to take care of.

1) Have clarity of the long-term vision of the pharmacy chain. Don’t just open the pharmacy expecting profits in the short term. This would not work.

2) Find a professional and attractive name and logo for the pharmacy chain.

3) Prepare a business plan. While preparing a business plan for 1 year is important, it is good to prepare a 3 to 5 years business plan on how you want to take such business.

4) Preparation of a standard operating procedure to have a meticulous understanding of the working.

5) Lookup for prime locations to start the pharmacy chain with one or two stores. You can pick-up 5 to 6 locations to start with and keep adding based on your experience on how they are running.

6) Register the firm or the company as per the companies act and take legal advice to ensure that the paperwork is perfect.

7) Have the other legal documents in place regarding the rent or ownership of the land where the stores are situated.

8) Have proper staffing system and interior designing which can be carried irrespective of the location. Having a similar designing creates a much stronger trust and the customers can relate to the organization as a whole.

9) Appointment of a pharmacist in the medical store.

10) Apply for the GST number, store license and other registration and licensing documents. You might need location specific licensing requirements (depending on the state in which you want to open pharmacy stores)

11) Have an accounting system and train the person who would be using the same.

12) Locate the various agents and companies which can supply the medicines.

13) Appoint the supporting staff depending upon the need of the store.

14) Once the first pharmacy store is opened, it’s time to start marketing and promoting the brand well. Don’t wait till multiple pharmacy stores to open.

15) Various ways of marketing could be used which would include billboards, brochures, pamphlets, social media marketing, and so on.

16) Various discount offers can be provided through planning to increase sales and create a strong consumer base. This can be done at the business planning stage itself.

17) Once the brand is well settled and the brand is created, franchises can also be offered in cities apart from the Head office location. This can create faster growth in retail pharmacy chain business.

18) Make it online presence. Everything is moving to online now. If you have online presence, you can boost your sales and respective location pharmacy store can deliver medicines at a faster pace.

List of existing Pharmacy chain Stores in India

A few of the most noted pharmacy chains in India include:

1) Medplus

2) Apollo pharmacy

3) Medlife

4) 98.4 pharmacy

5) Fortis Health World

There are a few pharmacy business who are running majorly online like 1mg, medplus etc.,

In US largest pharmacy retail chain is CVC (with 9,900+ chains).

While opening a pharmacy store could be a good healthcare business idea, opening a chain or pharmacy stores can make it a bigger business.

How to be successful in the pharmacy chain business?

Opening up a pharmacy chain business involves a lot of resources and planning. It is extremely important to ensure that the marketing is done in a very strong manner. Pharmacy chain businesses succeeds by creating trust which cannot be achieved if the prices are not competitive with market prices or the quality is compromised. The company also needs to ensure that majority of the medicines are available in the store along with online presence to become a preferred choice for the patients and their families. Along with the medicines, other related products like skin care products can also be kept to earn extra revenue and at the same time by becoming a one-stop destination for the basic and health-related requirements.

Have you liked our tips and analysis? Then share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and other social media, which might be useful to your friends too.

Suresh KP


  1. In retail pharmacy we open a multiple Pharma store at every store req. Register pharmacist or one will be enough for retail pharmacy chain?

  2. Hi I am planning ot open a pharmacy chain i need to know can the purchase be at a single point for all the stores and can there be a option of purchasing from other states as a purchase centre would be elsewer from the city stores are located in .

    Awaiting your feedback

  3. Mr. Suresh, First of all thank you for all your blogs and updates regarding different investments, your passion is helping for most of the people to choose and decide, no surprise if government /committee awards you for exploring different investment options.

    My question: to open a pharmacy chain, don’t I require pharmacy certificate like d- pharma although I would be appointing a pharmacist, won’t I be requiring diploma degree or other course certificates for inaugurating shops.
    Kindly guide me.


    1. Hello Aditya, If you are appointing a pharmacist, they would anyways have the required certification, hence it is not specifically mentioned.

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