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