Beverage maker Coca-Cola on Wednesday said it has entered into a partnership with Common Services Centers, part of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, to list Coca-Cola beverages, on a pilot basis, on CSC’s Grameen eStore platform that will enable last-mile reach of its brands in India’s villages.
In the pilot phase, Coca-Cola’s portfolio of products will be listed on Grameen eStore, which is essentially a rural-focussed, hyper-local e-commerce platform, across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
The Grameen eStore helps micro entrepreneurs in villages in providing products and services to various households that use the app for leveraging education, healthcare, agriculture and financial services in villages.
“This initiative will help us with last mile connectivity to ensure people are hydrated and have their relevant choice of beverages," T. Krishnakumar, president, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia said.
The maker of Coca-Cola, Sprite and Minute Maid beverages reaches well over 3 million outlets in India. While companies have spent decades making inroads into India’s villages—that account for over 35% of total FMCG spends—last mile reach in villages can sometimes be a challenge.
For beverage makers especially—that need to be able to serve chilled drinks—a lack of refrigeration in shops and limited household access to electricity in the hinterland can hinder rural consumption.
“The partnership with Coca Cola will allow the stores to diversify their offerings while providing customers access to new products. It will be a win-win proposition," Dr. Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC SPV said.