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Friday, May 19, 2006

Lifetime plans 200 pharma stores in South

Lifetime Healthcare Ltd, a one-year-old company that runs a chain of pharmacies in Bangalore and Chennai, plans to spend Rs 40 crore this year on increasing the number of its outlets from about 30 at present to 200.

Lifetime Healthcare was promoted last year by M.C. Kini and A. Suryanarayanan and runs its pharma outlets under the brand name, `LifeKen'. The Mody family of Mumbai, who are the promoters of J B Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd, have committed to providing the Rs 40 crore required for expansion.

Eventually, there would be 800 LifeKen stores across the country in three years. The promoters are working towards the second round of funding.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, Kini and Suryanarayanan said that a trend towards organised retailing in pharmaceuticals had taken root in India. Organised players, they said, could provide a distinguished service in the Rs 32,000-crore retail pharma market in the country.

Lifetime intends to offer add-on benefits to its member-customers by freebies such as free home delivery, doctor for emergency calls, free sample collection for tests and free medical check-ups. Besides, because of centralised stocking and IT-support, the company would be able to stock-up better, so that any product the customer wants would be available.

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