FMCG major Dabur India is all set to foray into organised retail. The Rs 1,900-crore company plans to set up a chain of 300-400 retail outlets, based on the health and beauty platform, across the country over the next few years.
The Dabur India retail outlets, modelled after foreign health and beauty retailers Boots and Walgreens, would sell pharmaceutical and OTC products as well as other products such as health food, confectionery, personal and baby care products and general merchandise. While Dabur is not tying up with a foreign partner, it is hiring a few foreign expats with wide experience in the retail business to guide the new venture.
Retail will be the Dabur group's third major venture after FMCG and pharmaceuticals, and could over the medium-term become as big as the FMCG business. It is expected that the company would roll out the first few stores by the end of the calendar year. The stores would be located inside malls and would be set up in the metros and tier-I cities.
The company is learnt to have earmarked an investment of Rs 200 crore for its retail foray. The retail plans are expected to be taken up at Dabur's board meeting this week. When contacted, Dabur India group director P D Narang declined to comment.
The new venture would mark Dabur's full-fledged foray into retail. The company currently operates standalone outlets across the country offering complete Ayurvedic solutions, called the Dabur Ayurvedic Centres.
These centres, which retail only Ayurvedic and herbal medicines and have an in-house Ayurvedic practitioner, are meant to give a push to Ayurvedic medicines by boosting consumer confidence and enabling a more informed purchase decision. However, the scale, size and investments in the new retail business will be much greater.
Dabur would thus join the growing number of new entrants in the country's $12-billion organised retail mart. The Ranbaxy-promoter group recently made its foray into healthcare retail with a new company, Fortis HealthWorld.
The company plans to set up 1,000 HealthWorld stores in 400 cities in the next five years at an outlay of Rs 800 crore. These stores are meant as one-stop shops for a consumer's health needs with a 24/7 pharmacy which stocks FMCG products and health foods, ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines and also houses a diagnostic centre.
While the country's largest listed retail company, Pantaloon, is focussing on its Health Village stores catering to the health and beauty needs of the consumer, Reliance Retail has also charted out plans to set up 4,000 pharmacies in the next four years.