NewsX was recently joined by Arushi Jain, Founder of Stayhappi Pharmacy for an exclusive conversation as a part of its special series, NewsX A-List where she spoke about her company and the healthcare in India. Talking about the reason she started Stayhappi Pharmacy, Arushi said, “When we started it, I wanted to utilise the resources that I had, to be able to do something better and good for the people of our country. Since we had been into pharma manufacturing, we already had the capabilities to manufacture quality medicines. So, I wanted to launch these medicines at really, really affordable prices and get them accessible across the country”.
Speaking about her family already being in pharma and taking this decision with some help from them, Arushi said, “What happens when your family is in the same industry is, it helps you in many ways. How it helped me was, Number 1, to connect to the right people at the right time. Number 2, you get the respect in the industry, which you don’t get as a startup, because people know your family business. That again helps you in meeting the right people. So, this really helps you in the starting”.
Talking about the two years since her startup, and her choice between being a salaried employee or the boss, Arushi said, “The shift has been really challenging, but it is truly rewarding. So, as an entrepreneur, the job is very demanding. Every face of your startup, there’s a different demand that you have to fulfil as an entrepreneur, there’s a different skill that you have to learn. So, you’re constantly out of your comfort zone. So, I really enjoy being an entrepreneur as compared to a salaried employee”.
Speaking about the hardships that entrepreneurs face, she said, “As a young entrepreneur especially, one of the problems that you face is that, you don’t know everything. You don’t know a lot of things but you still have to learn them along the way and have to learn them quickly and then work accordingly. So, that’s challenging but that’s how it is and you have to do it”.
Sharing her thoughts about starting Stayhappi Pharmacy and how successful her aim of providing good quality medicines at affordable prices to people was, over the past two years, Arushi said, “In the last two years, starting from one pharmacy we now have crossed the benchmark of 500+ pharmacies across the country, in more than 60+ cities. So, we have a range of more than 500 medicines across different therapies, chronic as well as acute. So, a patient can really choose any medicine that they want and through Stayhappi medicines, they can save a lot on their monthly medicine bills. So, if a person or a family is spending Rs. 5,000-6,000 on their monthly medicines, they can reduce it up to Rs. 1500-2500. So, it is very important especially for middle class and lower-middle class families in India”.
Talking about the medicines of Stayhappi, their quality and prices, Arushi explained, “So, there are two very important aspects- quality and price. The quality of our medicines is the same as that of any trusted big manufacturers, big pharma companies that we know, because it is manufactured in the same facility. So, the largest manufacturers of the country, we get our medicines manufactured from them, so it’s the same facility as of the companies which we’ve been trusting since 20-30 years. So, the quality is the same, the price however; what we’ve done is that we’ve reduced our MR fees, so that wherever in country our medicine is going, be it Jammu or Kanyakumari, or the North-east, the MRP- the price at which the customer is getting it at, is the same. Because you cannot really control discounts through thousands of pharmacies”.
Speaking about the trust factor in this industry and how sometimes people spend more than they can afford to, Arushi said, “That’s very important. The trust that companies have taken 20-30 years to build, we cannot build that in a very short span of time. But we tried and explained to people the concept and how and where its being manufactured. So, each and every strip of medicine is bar coded and they can scan the barcode and see the quality certificate behind it. A lot of explanation goes into it, however, what we’ve seen is that once a family has bought Stayhappi medicines from us, they definitely come back every month”.
Talking about the pandemic and how Stayhappi medicines helped people out in the lockdown during Covid, Arushi said, “So, number one, we had to take care of our staff and its safety. There were a lot of safety precautions around and we started doing a lot of home delivery, even in the red zones. People used to come out to where the barricades were to take the medicines. So, there was a lot of safe home delivery that we started during the pandemic”.
Speaking about the pandemic as well as the condition of the health sector, the suggestion or advice Arushi gave was, “I feel there were positive realizations- Number one, that all of us have started realizing the importance of life and family because of the pandemic. Another was that, one major shift that has happened in the industry is that people in India, especially use to treat symptoms. We also used to believe that when there will be a symptom, we’ll treat it. However, now we’re also moving into prevention. So we saw a lot of Vitamin C, kadha, and healthy food being spoken about because of Covid. It has opened the eyes of many across the country and we have gone on the right path of nutrition, healthy eating and prevention, which is very positive”.
Talking about being a young entrepreneur, the ‘Make in India’ scheme and the ease of doing business in India, Arushi said, “As far as ‘Make in India’ is concerned, we have been very strong as a nation. However, the consumers were not very supportive but this year and after Mr. Modi highlighted, I’ve seen a lot of people around me, appreciating ‘Make in India’ products, specifically finding ‘Make in India’ products. So, this is very nice and will boost our economy in the long run. So, all our medicines are definitely made in India and I think it’ll be a very positive move for the pharma industry. Now, the raw materials which were earlier exported from China, government has launched an incentive plan to set up raw material plants in the country which will really help the sector. So, I think it’s a very welcome change”.
Speaking on the Do’s and Don’ts in her business, Arushi said, “For the Do’s, first, believe in your gut feeling. Second, to have a very, very good core team around you with the required skillsets. Third, to have one or two mentors around you, who are there to guide you through the process because its definitely not very easy. For the Don’ts, a lot of entrepreneurs and founders like to do a lot of work ourselves because of our obsession of perfection. So, its important to delegate. Do not think that you should not delegate, its very important to delegate so that you are able to invest your time in the right things and grow your business”.
Talking about the vision ahead for Stayhappi Pharmacy, Arushi said, “I think India has immense potential when it comes to healthcare and medicines. So, I want to be able to open a Stayhappi Pharmacy in every district of every town in the next three years and be able to impact the 100 crore population”.