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Meet the ‘wonder kid of pharma’ who built a Rs 500 crore company by selling medicines at 90% discount

The Mumbai-based startup has the backing of legendary industrialist Ratan Tata who was impressed by the company's innovative model.

At just the age 21, Arjun Deshpande has achieved an extraordinary feat by establishing Generic Aadhaar, a company valued at Rs 500 crore, through its groundbreaking approach of offering medicines at significantly lower prices than the market rate. The venture has garnered support from esteemed industrialist Ratan Tata, the former chairperson of Tata Group.

In April, Arjun Deshpande was even lauded by President Droupadi Murmu for his dedication to making medicines affordable for Indian citizens and acknowledged Generic Aadhaar’s work is contributing to the growth of the economy. She also called Deshpande the “wonder kid of pharma”.

Deshpande’s entrepreneurial journey began when he was a mere 16-year-old, launching a company that provided medicines at highly competitive prices. Today, as the CEO, he leads a franchise chain that offers generic medicines at discounts of 80-90%.

The startup has achieved success by eliminating multiple intermediaries, including marketers, distributors, and stockists, thereby reducing production and selling costs considerably. For example, the diabetes drug Glimepiride, typically priced at Rs 110 per strip, is available through Generic Aadhaar for just over Rs 5.

Currently, the startup boasts an extensive network of 2,000 stores nationwide and employs nearly 10,000 individuals. This remarkable growth has been made possible by their commitment to providing affordable and accessible healthcare to all.

The firm is currently working on expanding to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, UAE, and Myanmar— a sizeable section of India’s neighbors. “We will be shortly opening our stores in Dubai, Oman, Cambodia, and Vietnam as well,” Deshpande said earlier.

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