Pull up any news report about the future of Indian ecommerce industry and one would find that last mile delivery and logistics on the whole is one element that’s stopping the industry to be at par with China’s ecommerce sector or for that matter Brazil and Russia’s.
To solve this very issue, Bengaluru based logistics start-up Connect India has started designing a new delivery model with the help of common service centres (CSCs) and local kirana stores.
First off, what is CSC?
Common Service Centres (CSC) is a government scheme initiated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The basic aim is to set-up service delivery points in towns and villages to make services related to agriculture, banking, education, entertainment, health, insurance, pension, utility payments and other sectors accessible and encourage rural entrepreneurship. Currently there are nearly 130,000 CSCs across the country.
Connect India’s Master Plan
The company wants to use these CSC centres to connect ecommerce players and rural consumers. This way marketplaces’ last mile delivery issue is sorted and rural consumers get access to a range of products.
Founder and CEO of Connect India, L R Sridhar said, “Having seen this network, the question was how to use these unutilised economic assets and convert it into a last-mile delivery option and likewise cater to the e-commerce demands in the country.”
He added, “The idea is to connect with 27,000 pin codes and establish 50,000 outlets across the country. This means that we will reach every 10,000 population. Technologically, we have created a model through which we plan to create one distribution outlet per pin code, through neighbourhood stores including medical stores, kirana shops, departmental stores, etc.”
Etailers trying hard to solve last mile delivery issue
All big ecommerce players are aware of the fact that they need to look beyond urban consumers and move to the largely unexplored rural market and small towns. However, that won’t be possible unless their logistics arm is flawless.
To tackle this issue, Flipkart rolled out pick-up centres, Amazon tied up with Vakrangee and online furniture portal Pepperfry extended its Last Mile Delivery (LMD) service to 400 cities across the country. Now with Connect India coming up with an innovative delivery model, things for etailers might get a little smooth.