One day, almost three years ago, 25-year-old Harsh Mehta overheard his grandparents complaining about how they had forgotten to stock up on their regular medicines, again.
“It got me thinking that this has to be the most common yet serious problem for those on medication for an ailment. “ Mehta and his friend, 26-year-old Rohan Dalal, decided it was time they found a solution.
In January, the duo founded the Doorbell Pharmacy, which hopes to ensure their customers never run out of or forget their regular dosage of medicine. “All you have to do is sign up on Doorbell Pharmacy or email us, create an account, and provide the details of the medicines you or your family members take. We take over from there and remind you about them fortnightly or monthly, and ensure they are delivered to you before you run out of stock. A customer can also alter their prescriptions if their doctor changes their doses. We then deliver medicines accordingly,” says Mehta. The service, he adds, is free, and the customer has the option of paying cash on delivery or by credit card (the delivery person carries portable credit card machines).
Doorbell Pharmacy, Mehta says, has everything that a local pharmacy stocks up on, and more — medicines, lifestyle, beauty, baby and healthcare products.
They also home-deliver products needed to care for a post-operative patient at home — oxygen masks, gauzes, syringes and so on. “We are based in Atria Mall in Worli but deliver medicines anywhere in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Since we’ve just started out, we deliver within 24 hours. The delivery time, however, will reduce considerably as we settle down,” he adds. Doorbell Pharmacy also delivers supplies for medical emergencies in Worli, Mahalaxmi and Parel within 20 minutes. They provide first-aid kits for offices and homes too. In the future, Doorbell hopes to help with holistic healthcare services such as physiotherapy, nurse care, and ambulance services during medical emergencies.
Interestingly, neither Mehta nor Dalal have a pharmaceutical background — they, in fact, met when they were studying Economics in the UK in 2009. The former worked in digital marketing and the latter in strategic consultancy before launching Doorbell Pharmacy. “That’s the reason we have two qualified pharmacists on board. All prescriptions are handled by them. At any given point in the day, we ensure that at least one of them is at the pharmacy to oversee the sale and delivery of medicines,” says Mehta.
The pharmacy, adds Mehta, plans to make healthcare easier to access and cheaper for senior citizens. “We often provide medicines to seniors at a discounted rate and have tied up with senior citizens and Rotary Clubs to make medicines more accessible for the segment. Moreover, I think a senior citizen can be rest assured that his/her medicines will reach them on time.”