The experience of going to the pharmacy can sometimes test a person’s patience, from standing in long lines to finding out prescriptions are out of stock. And in the middle of a pandemic, it seems all the more inconvenient to have to visit a pharmacy. On this episode of Retail Gets Real, Eric Kinariwala, the founder and CEO of online pharmacy Capsule, shares how the company is growing rapidly to meet the health needs of customers, and how the pandemic has impacted its business.
After an experience in 2016 trying to pick up a prescription where everything went wrong, Kinariwala thought — like most entrepreneurs do at some point — there had to be a better way. Pharmacy is the second largest category of retail in America, he says, but it’s still largely conducted in person, with just over 1 percent of business online.
Kinariwala looked at the industry from the ground up and considered how it could be rebuilt to remove all of the familiar frustrations — everything from inventory to price transparency to making it easy to talk to and get advice from the pharmacist in a way that feels modern, familiar and comfortable. The company launched with same-day delivery in New York, and today, Capsule has accelerated its expansion plans to meet increased demand during the pandemic, now serving Boston, Chicago and the Twin Cities.
Listen to the full episode to learn more about how Capsule is reinventing the pharmacy experience for today’s consumer and Kinariwala’s advice for aligning head and heart to find the courage to take on risks.