ITC Ltd. accelerates efforts to make kirana stores ready for ‘next generation retail’

Over a century-long relationship strengthened by virtually engaging retailers across India in a retail summit segment on ‘Digital Enablement for Kirana Outlets’

Ahmedabad

Over the years, ITC has strengthened its partnership with the retailer community which spans across 2 million channel partners in the network. In the last 2 decades, ITC Ltd. has forayed into the Foods and other FMCG businesses and retailers across the country have extended invaluable support in reaching its world-class products to consumers and build popular food brands like Aashirvaad, Bingo!, YiPPee!, Sunfeast Biscuits, Candyman, B Natural, Fabelle, ITC Masterchef et al. which are driven by robust market share and consumer franchise.

In line with ITC Ltd.’s credo of ‘Nation First: Sab Saath Badhein’, the company right at the onset of the pandemic had spearheaded efforts to ensure safety of thousands of neighbourhood kirana and general store retailers, who ensured last-mile availability of essential products to consumers. retailers were provided equipment and assistance to help continue running their establishment whilst adopting hygiene and safety protocols. The pandemic also led to ITC accelerating its R&D towards developing digital tools to make retailers ‘future-ready’ and the multi-dimensional efforts culminated with a first-of-its-kind virtual event. As an initial step to further strengthen the local ecosystem of neighbourhood grocers, ITC Ltd. organised a virtual summit on Digital Enablement for Kirana Outlets’to educate and upskill retailers on best practices in retail management, usage of digital ecosystem while also providing them digital solutions developed/ curated specially by the company to aid their growth and sustain their businesses in the coming years. The virtual summit saw an overwhelming participation from one thousand five hundred and four retailers from across the country who achieved a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for ‘Most viewers for a retail management live stream on a bespoke platform’ on 16th January 2021. This was part of a larger virtual event ‘Ek Shaam Aapke Naam’.

Over the years, the Company has undertaken a large gamut of activities to boost its retailers business which ranges from assistance in making physical in-store improvements to introducing them to digital solutions that enable better inventory management. The unprecedented year of 2020 presented an opportunity to recalibrate retailer initiatives and further build, support and foster its strong relationship with the community. ITC Ltd. has already developed digital tools like Virtual DS, Unnati App and Store Locator to support its retailers. The Virtual DSis aimed at reducing losses of incumbent orders due to salesman absenteeism. Unnati App is a specially developed state-of-the-art retailer application that enables the kirana store operator to directly place online orders with ITC Ltd. Likewise, the Store Locator is a WhatsApp chatbot, bringing the Kirana store and consumer together, aiding the kirana store in building its consumer base and bringing convenience to the consumer. Furthermore, ITC Ltd. plans to develop more enhanced digital tools to accelerate digital transformation.