Compared to developed countries, supply chain of pharma industry in India is fragmented, and suffers loosely managed inventory threats. A country of our size requires a lot of inclusive pharma distribution which is largely being done via supply chain. We need a large and efficient tech-enabled supply chain to serve the country’s need. Currently, the country has approximately more than two lakh distributors including wholesalers, traders and C&F agents, and approximately over nine lakh retail points. If we talk about the distributors, they are appropriate in number but the retail side of the trade penetrates deeper. It increases every year by 20 per cent.
Some experts argue that Indian pharma industry is over-regulated, but being regulated adds up to the products’ structured distribution, which, compared to many countries, is far ahead in reach, depth and quality. Nevertheless, there are gaps which need to be bridged before we can actually call the supply chain all-inclusive and secure. We do have possibilities of digitalisation (the digitalisation in the supply chain management through distributors to retailers to customers) that will make it more robust and effective. Currently, there are 70 per cent of pharmacists who still need to digitise their business. Technology intervention in the Indian pharma supply chain would enable reduction of mismanagement in inventory and weed out counterfeits from the system.
What software do you have for catering to the Indian pharma industry? How many pharma companies do you offer your solutions to? Kindly name some of these.
We have a total user base of one million out of which 5.5 lakhs comes from the pharma trade. Our customer base is small size businesses that are large in number and are spread across the country. You can say a shop near your house is our customer using Marg Software.
We have a complete line up to cater, right from manufacturing till the last-mile retail connectivity. The focus, however, remains to be supply chain comprising two lakh distributors and suppliers. We have solutions available for pharma industry, such as salesman and retailer ordering platform, pharma next medicine directory, DMSxpert web-based reporting system, etc. Marg ERP is our flagship product that we offer to supply chain having capability to configure it to manage dynamics of the supply chain.
What was the need to come up with Marg ERP?
We started Marg ERP to energise the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as growth engines of the country. Seeing the low level of technology penetration, we wanted to cater to the underserved businesses which were not able to compete in the dynamic market due to lack of technology. Our goal is to provide feature-rich and AI-backed products at the most affordable prices.
By disrupting future technologies like big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable maximum automation, better information for quick decision-making and accelerate operational efficiency, the company is successfully simplifying inventory management, accounting, payments, GST compliance, sales, marketing, HR and other basic yet complex needs of the last-mile MSMEs in India and in other geographies.