Pharmacy chain Noble Plus eyes expansion; open to partnerships, M&A
Pharmacy and wellness retail chain Noble Plus said it is planning to add more stores in its core market Mumbai and Pune, and is also looking at partnerships or possible mergers and acquisitions with regional chains to expand pan-India. Started in 2002, Mumbai-based Noble Plus currently has 40 stores, with revenue of Rs 160 crore in the last fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. The company aims to end the ongoing fiscal 2022 with a turnover of Rs 200 crore and plans to add 8-10 stores, with revenue of Rs 160 crore in the last fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
The company aims to end the ongoing fiscal 2022 with a turnover of Rs 200 crore and plans to add 8-10 stores in FY23, founder Mihir Kapadia told ET in a recent interview. It also plans to open 100 stores in the next five years and is targeting a turnover of Rs 500 crores in three years, he added.
It is exploring the options of partnering with regional pharmacy chains and M&A opportunities for scaling up operations. Noble Plus has recently started an ecommerce portal to have an omni-channel presence. It has also opened a centralised warehouse with more than 20,000 sq ft in Mumbai. While the company had a head start over others, it largely remained Mumbai-centric as it followed an asset-heavy model locking in capital to scale up beyond its core market.
In contrast, larger pharmacy retail chains such as Wellness Forever, MedPlus and Apollo Pharmacy operate on an asset-light model and have opened hundreds of stores. “We have initially started like a real estate business, where we kept buying physical properties in prime locations for our pharmaceutical outlets, it’s an expensive bet but overtime our stores are more sustainable,” Kapadia said. Kapadia also said he didn’t want to expand franchises like others, as he wasn’t confident whether patients will get genuine and authentic products. All the stores of Noble Plus are company operated. It owns the real estate of 20% of the stores. “We are more of an experience store, we don’t want to dilute that experience for quick scale up,” Kapadia added.
Source: The EconomicTimes