India is a diverse country home for four of the top 10 global billionaires and also home millions of people under poverty line. Retailers are not just embracing the Urban Indians, we have ITC, Godrej-Future Group, DCM and others active in the rural Indian market. We compare the primary business goals of each of these rural retailers here.
Godrej Industries has started an experimental retail format called Godrej Aadhar for the rural markets. This format sells FMCG products, fertilisers, animal feed, etc. Services like banking, insurance, pharmacy, postal services and petrol pumps have also been planned to make them complete convenience hubs in rural areas.
At present, there are 24 outlets in eight rural locations across the country and each outlet services 20 villages in its vicinity. Godrej Aadhar has already forged JVs with Apollo Pharmacy, Tata Agrico, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and HPCL for value added services at the outlets. The company plans to set up more than 1,000 stores by 2010.
DCM Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar:
DCM Shriram Consolidated’s (DSC) rural retail chain provides end-to-end ground level support to farmers. A typical centre caters to 50,000–70,000 acres; currently, there are 33 such bazaars spread across the north and west of India. Many urban brands piggyback on such rural chains to take advantage of their distribution and local know-how – for example, Motorola has an alliance with the Kisaan Bazaars for sales and distribution of its handsets.
ITC Choupal Sagar:
ITC launched the Choupal Sagar in 2004. It is 100,000–150,000 sqf of retail space with a trading area, weighing facilities, telemedicine kiosks, special products for farmers, etc. These networks are also used for ITC’s rural distribution. The company plans to open over 700 such
The company has changed its rural model from simply having IT-enabled kiosk services (echoupal) to having a Choupal Sagar for 25–30 e-choupals. The Choupal Sagars double up as retail outlets for the consumers and also as infrastructure to support ITC’s rural procurement.