Ad Here  
Wanted: a second airport for Chennai IAS invades NDDB... GM Technology at last! The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more The rise and fall of Annamalai University When online building permits work…. Delhi Chalo... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Silver Years of Madras Musings For whom the MIDS bell tolls? When small is no larger beautiful.. Solar thermal shines… A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Quality silica from Neyveli EVM is tamper-proof Of course, Gujarat is vibrant TGS- The king storyteller More Shakti to resource mobilisation... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ An inexplicable neglect SoA @ 80 Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu The Swadeshi Trump Multi-faceted Venkat Another Indian music maestro at the UN Delhi is distant… Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Building loyalty through the stomach Airlines in India: cost and space Polls and promises Poor quality of university VCs Delhi returns to BJP Convulsions in The Hindu A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Should we change the official year? No Maha Koottani in TN... Shale gas and its shallow future More tributes to GR Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's A welcome initiative by the judiciary Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi The star of Spencers is no more When nations steal growth from one another… Kulandai was a giant Which side are you, Montek? Contrarian cousins Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Kinetic Karnataka Banning booze... Make standards certification mandatory... Auto components surge… Small units prefers to remain small... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Music happens No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu The balancing act There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Intellectual of rare qualities Towards speedy justice The Jan Dhan bonanza The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model A yen for wastage… Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Tribute – M V Murugappan Fortune for Indian Airlines A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Revive development banks... B H Kothari - a tribute Haul over the coal Valli, they are more marginalised Mu Sigma – is no more S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Streamlining mandatory third party cover Maximising the micro pricing … Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Modi and the lady Preserving for the future Paytm karo... Engineering seats go abegging Sweeter prospects for sugar Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Russi Mody – a tribute IPL type auction for VCs? MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Editor's Notes Recognition to role of NBFCs.... TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Road development slows down Delhi is distant Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Wise Presidents Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Discoms deserve better… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... The few handicaps... to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Telangana in top gear… When the President was rendered homeless… Tatas moving out of urea production... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Tribute Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Readers' Mail CII projects higher growth… The why of tax incentives IPL - no surprise this scam Welcome focus on core competence Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Shipping woes of Chennai companies He saved millions from starvation... Cutting the nose to spite the face Five star activism stalls development activity Build close rapport with business leaders More heat than light EEC at the National Media Centre …and of a popular trade leader GNS - 100: our first subscriber Revving up the manufacturing sector Editor's Says CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Moily’s bold thrust TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Noble nonagenarians... Rahman at CIC A think tank for Chennai The power-full Hindujas Tax agriculture Sri Lanka votes for change Shanti and Sadhana through Music Secularism and anti-Hinduism Pharma – overdose of copying Waning interest in public discussions… TIAM turns a full cycle Tatas moving out of urea production... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health This scant respect for Law Why this malaise in medical education? Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara He continues the focus on social amelioration CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Quality education through the PPP mode A professional at the helm of IRDA... For whom the bell tolls? Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Boy, can you beat these? Plummeting profits of PSBs Where is Rajaji? Demise of a media baron... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Gay abandon in pricing West Bengal: mindless malignancy Breaththrough in malaria control L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… When Ratan Tata visited SRM China invests in India Nuclear power at the nucleus The rise and rise of KCP Muffled voices for merit… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Where a state respects its litterateurs… Welcome GST Put expensive assets created to use... TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? How Air-India loses customs... Align crops to agro climate endowments… A more liberated TN… The brown list of Venkitaramanan Come elections, come advertisements... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Gas is the way forward Solar, solar everywhere … Kudos to NDTV... Fuel for thought A proud Madrasi Roaring Ro-Ro facility Return to king coal for urea... Things happen by accident and not by design... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V A friendly business group Medical costs hit the roof... Modi storms Silicon Valley Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel The sea- saw battle continues... Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy London, London Narayan Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Fortune 500 review The Gulf aviation boom No engine for this car Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… A glass full of corruption PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Adharma of opposition politics Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Protest masters... Strengthen the base... PC’s preference for professionals ONGC at KG Basin Funding the un-funded Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Vibrant Gujarat Robber barons everywhere Making ‘my Amaravati’... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Cement prices continue to rise… TELANGANA at last…BUT S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Tough task taking states together Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Permanent secretariat for TN GIM The nuclear option Why land prices zoom in TN? Mersal magnified Parliament in paralysis... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School
Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses...

There is the expected protest from brick and mortar companies over the blitzkrieg of promotions unleashed by e-commerce companies. The latest to join are the retailers of drugs and pharma products.

These arise over a couple of concerns: the first is the additions to cost made at different points of the distributor chain in conventional marketing; these also involve hefty costs of real estate: setting up retail stores at vantage points in cities and towns does involve huge costs on rental space. This is especially high for metros and large cities. There are the additional hassles of transportation, parking, transfer of goods from the shop to home, etc.

There are also tax issues. Luckily, with a certain uniformity in state sales tax rates brought about by the Vajpayee government, this issue has softened to a considerable extent. States are bound to raise concern over loss of revenue through e-commerce across the nation from warehouses kept at areas of low cost.

The other issue relates to regulation and quality. Pharma dealers point to e-commerce companies dealing with prescription drugs. They question how a drug prescribed by a doctor could be sold through such companies. But the drug trade at retail level is marked by several unsavoury practices and huge mark up  in prices.

I witnessed a curious instance of extending such protest to ludicrous levels. I was looking at the pricing of hearing aids. The ENT specialist suggested a well-known dealer in this line. When I enquired, the local dealer indicated the cost for the instrument at around Rs  62,000 for each ear. My children working in the US,  checked with Amazon and found a piece of same specification to cost around Rs 19,000! When the issue was taken to the managing director of the sole distributor in India, he tried to explain it away by saying that instruments may not carry warranty and none of the dealers would provide servicing to the instruments purchased online.

Hearing aid tuning can be done by an audiologist. But the manufacturers working as a cartel, refuse to extend warranty on products sold online! At such high prices, relief is not available to the average citizen.


Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236