BENGALURU: Former Igate CEO Phaneesh Murthy is taking a stab at entrepreneurship after a long and eventful innings in the IT sector. Murthy has started a new company, PM Health and Life Care, to float an online pharmacy venture that would deliver drugs within committed delivery timelines.
The online pharmacy marketplace, which will debut in September across 10 cities, is raising $10 million from a clutch of investors.
Murthy was fired from Igate in May 2013 for allegedly not disclosing his relationship with the company’s investor relations head. The battle between Murthy and Igate ended recently with the two reaching an out-of-court settlement. The Nasdaq-listed IT services company is learnt to have paid $4.6 million to its former CEO to settle the defamation and breach-of-contract case that he had filed. Prior to Igate, he was global sales head at Infosys. He was fired from Infosys in 2002 following a sexual harassment case.
Murthy’s venture capital firm PM Ventures, which he had incorporated in Bengaluru in 2000, will invest $2 million in the startup. CSS Corp CEO Tiger Ramesh and Pune-based Opus Group chairman Ramesh Mengawade have invested $1 million into the venture.
“The Indian pharmaceutical market is estimated to touch $56 billion by 2020. There is no trusted healthcare brand in the online pharmacy space. Buying medicines online is a different culture altogether. There is great scope as consumers are increasingly shopping online,” said Murthy, who will be the chairman of the new venture.
Former Igate marketing head Hemant Bhardwaj will be the CEO and Anil Bajpai, who was SVP and head of iTOPS delivery at Igate, will be the chief technology officer.
Indian pharmacy retail is fragmented with unorganized players accounting for over 95% of the market. Indians spent 7% of their disposable incomes on healthcare in 2005, and this is expected to nearly double to 13% by 2025, according to a PwC report. Due to the potential, organized pharma and wellness chains have attracted the attention of PE players. A few years back, US private equity group Mount Kellett Capital Management had led a Rs 410-crore ($90 million) investment in MedPlus Health Services.
Source: The Times of India