Retailing in India is not just an Urban revolution. Some big corporates like DCM Shriram Group [erstwhile Delhi Cotton Mills], ITC and Godrej have ventured to fulfill the needs of our Rural folks and at the same time have gone through a tremendous learning experience. It might come to you as a surprise that, they are also making money 🙂
It has been over 2 years since we touched base on DCM Shrirmas Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar. Today they are a 302 store retail operation and I would like to review the same.
Hariyalli Kisaan Bazaar – HKB stores are so planned that they cater to around 100 small villages within a radius of about 40 Kms with a diverse product range from farming to households. Thus they cater to agri based customers as well as non agri based consumers with other products.
Farming Products – Multi brand agricultural inputs, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, animal feeds, irrigation equipment and tractor parts.
Household Products – FMCG, Consumer Durables, apparel and footwear
Financial Products – Life Insurance, Health Insurance and the most important Crop Insurance
Farm Fuels – Diesel, LPG etc
These centers are IT enabled capturing critica data for farmers and providing them access to weather forecast, market prices by a team of qualified agronomists. Most customers seek information and solutions to their agriculture related problems.
Success Mantra – Service before SELL:
A customer in panic entered the store worried about a mysterious aliment and the specialists in the store took less than a minute to identify his problem. If needed they’ll also visit the farm, awesome, banks like ICICI should learn some lesson from HKB.
In retrospect, HKBs birth was preceded by two year planning phase where four core members of the team traveled rural North India. The first store was opened in 2002 but grew only in 2006-07. Its 302 stores ring the cash register with a top-line of Rs 420 crore.
Within the next 2 years, DCM management wants to expand the store count to 500. We really hope the Government looks at measures for balanced growth of India – NREGA, Farm Loan Waivers etc and corporates like DCM, ITC etc lend a helping hand in reshaping the Indian consumer and economy.