The central government is working with traders' bodies, start-ups and companies to help digitalise small businesses such as local kirana shops. The digitisation will help small businesses and logistics firms ease the supply-chain issues for local kirana shops which have been functioning during the coronavirus lockdown.
The government's Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is working alongside companies to develop a digital framework which will help connect local kirana shops with customers, distributors and logistics providers, reported LiveMint.
The DPIIT and partner companies hope to ensure a seamless supply of essential commodities from packaged goods companies to distributors and from the distributor to the retailers (kirana shops).
A test program is being run by DPIIT in four cities of Lucknow. Technology and logistics firms are working with over 150 kirana shops in each city to see how the firms can resolve the supply chain problems faced by the shops amidst the coronavirus nation-wide lockdown. This project is still at a very early stage and is likely to be scaled up over the next few days, reported the daily.
"Synergise efforts of a number of startup companies working in the field of logistics and supply chain management, as well as local administration during these times to deliver essentials at home. In the longer run, it is expected to enable local kirana stores technologically and bridge the digital divide between them and e-commerce companies," said a note shared among companies and trade bodies by the DPIIT.
Start-ups and other companies will provide logistics support and a communication platform to manufacturers and distributors so that essential commodities reach retailers seamlessly.
"The objective of the project is to fulfil demand of essentials during the lockdown across India, to enable the commerce to kirana ecosystem for continued functionality," said an executive of a trade association to the daily.
Companies which have been roped in for the project include WhatsApp Business, Delhivery, GlobalLinker, a firm which helps digitize small business, and GoodBox, an online grocery shopping platform. Other partners include Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation.