About This Episode
Meera Iyer is the Chief Marketing Officer of Medlife – a leading online pharmacy. She is a seasoned veteran in the sales and marketing domain for 13+ years. During her previous stints, she served as the Head of Marketing at Big Basket and Melorra. She has also played a crucial role in handling and managing some of our most loved brands at Unilever.
In this episode…
Meera discusses the following aspects of her work in the podcast:
i. How online pharmacy is reshaping the healthcare industry in India?
ii. Why customer experience is paramount for success in the online healthcare domain?
iii. How to create tailored offerings for discerning digital consumers by understanding the user behaviour?
iv. The secret to Medlife’s 10X growth
Here are our top 3 picks from this episode:
1. Staying on top of the competition by providing end-to-end services
Priyam: There are a lot of players in the online pharmacy space such as Netmeds and similar players, What are you guys doing right now which is helping you set your own path from the competition? I am assuming that acquisition is the major part of the strategy right now for growth.
Meera: I think we were the first online pharmacy in the country to offer a whole gamut of medical services. It started with acquiring MedLabs which was a lab-based diagnostic center that provided home services for blood collection. Then we acquired EClinic which provided doctor consultation online for the patients across the country. Yeah so it has been a string of acquisition and there are more coming up to provide more offering of healthcare at home. Our tagline is “Health Comes Home” and that’s what we are trying to fulfill for customers in every possible way. Healthcare is not just about the doctor, medical facilities so is to say but also equally the other things that customers look for. You talk to any customer who has any kind of health condition they will talk about it in two parts; one is, of course, going to the doctors, getting lab test done and procuring medicines and the other aspect is lifestyle changes which includes diet, exercise and even spirituality to an extent. We look forward to becoming a platform rich in content which people can use to manage their overall conditions, not just medically but also towards the overall lifestyle improvement.
2. Using discounts in favor of the consumers
Priyam: The industry is ripe right now with all talks about discounting being a sustainable strategy or not because there is so much of burn involved. Although, it works great for customer acquisition in a country like India where people are so price-sensitive. What is your take on this, as far as discounts are concerned?
Meera: I think as far as a company is able to clearly able to chalk out a sustainable business model, whereby you turn contribution one in positive passing on the additional margins that you have to the customers, In my opinion, it’s a fantastic thing to do in an area like healthcare. In healthcare, it does contribute to quite a bit of drain on a person’s finances; I am very happy to see a model that is working fine here at MedLife. If the model is working fine at the same time offering some kind of savings to the customer, one should absolutely continue it. There is no point in just building your own wealth. The basic core vision of MedLife is building technology to make healthcare accessible and affordable for the 1.3 billion Indians. The extra margins that a business makes should absolutely go to the customers.
3. Customer-centricity is key to building a great business
Priyam: I personally have this belief that retention or rather the fact that I continue to use any digital app or product right now has a lot to do with the experience that I get. When I say experience it starts right from using the product, extends to the entire buying and purchase experience as well. How is the customer experience, a focus right now at MedLife? Does the purchase experience involve some kind of ethos or is it something that’s still evolving there?
Meera: Given that it’s a virtual platform on which people are ordering, you are still not seeing things, it makes a helluva difference in how the product is for the customer plus the customer experience in terms of how the last-mile delivery pans out. These are the absolute focus areas for the customers at MedLife. One thing which we are working on is the new product revamp, it will, of course, make the experience way richer, especially from the content perspective, the key here to keep the product as simple as you can. Ever since the inception of MedLife, we have kept it 3-button click where you upload the prescription, go through the payment or have a doctor follow-up to verify the diagnosis if you don’t have the prescription, make the payment and get the product delivered. So having absolutely simplified processes for the consumer to place an order and keeping in mind the older audiences that are there is something which really stands out. We also take compliances in medicine and service really seriously since it’s a matter of life and death. We have a licensed premise to operate our labs and pharmacists who provide the last check to the medicines ordered by the consumer and only taking the valid prescription into consideration. This is how we are moving towards the customer-centricity at MedLife.
Meera deep-divulged into plenty of insights on customer centricity, tailored offering, discounts as a strategy, consumer experiences during the podcast.