Pharmeasy: Expansion Dilemma Amidst Regulatory Uncertainties
The two co-founders of PharmEasy, an online medical store and pharmacy website launched in 2015, faced a new challenge in December 2018. Recent judgments by the Madras and Delhi High Courts had suspended the operations of India's more than 250 online pharmacies until new industry regulations could be drafted. Only a few months earlier, in August 2018, the Indian government had released proposed draft regulations for the online sale of medicine. However, an organization representing more than 850,000 pharmacists in India had staged a one-day strike to protest the government's proposal. Should PharmEasy take a cautious approach with its ambitious expansion plans until the government introduces regulations? Or would its competitors seize the opportunity to move forward aggressively to gain market share? The co-founders recognized that the regulatory uncertainty was creating confusion. They needed to decide on their next steps quickly-and communicate their intentions to all stakeholders. Rakesh Gupta is affiliated with Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. Lubna Nafees is affiliated with Appalachian State University.