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NEW DELHI : Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus at Tata Sons, on Thursday invested an undisclosed amount in a pharmaceutical start-up Generic Aadhaar, in his personal capacity.

The startup is run by 18-year-old Arjun Deshpande, who is the founder and CEO. The Mumbai-based teenager began his venture two years ago with an aim to bring affordable medicines to the masses.

“When Sir Ratan Tata came to know about the business plan, he was impressed and decided to be a part of this mission in a personal capacity and help Generic Aadhaar to reach every Indian," said Deshpande.

The startup sources generic drugs directly from the manufacturer and sells it to retail pharmacies, eliminating 16-20% wholesaler margin. These pharmacies are single medical stores which otherwise face competition from big brands and online pharmacies. Generic Aadhar has already tied up with 30 retailers from Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Odisha following a profit-sharing model.

In the coming months, Deshpande plans to partner with 1,000 pharmacies on a franchisee-based model and expand his reach to cities like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and New Delhi. Generic Aadhaar will provide all the support to the unorganized sector by bringing the right technology, IT infrastructure and branding to the forefront. The company has about 55 employees, which include pharmacists, IT engineers and marketing professionals.

The startup claims to have an annual revenue of 6 crore and is looking at a revenue of 150-200 crore in the next three years.

"Our unique business model gives us an edge over any other players in the market currently as we aim to bring affordable healthcare to millions of households. Our mission is to provide senior citizens and pension holders the care they deserve with our idea of delivering inexpensive medicines which are required on a daily basis," said Deshpande.

Currently, Generic Aadhaar supplies diabetes and hypertension drugs but will soon start offering cancer drugs at rates lower than the market price. The start-up also has a tie up with four WHO-GMP certified manufacturers in Palghar, Ahmedabad, Pondicherry and Nagpur.

In the past, Ratan Tata has invested in many startups including Ola, Paytm, Snapdeal, CureFit and Urban Ladder.

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