P&G to invest Rs500 crore to drive India’s rural growth story
The fund will provide external partners an opportunity to partner with P&G on
customized for meeting the needs of rural consumers. This will include solutions on communication, media outreach and go-to-market solutions such as tech-enabled selling, increasing distribution and last-mile delivery.
“Rural India has a pivotal role to play in India’s road to recovery from the pandemic. We have already seen the rural segment deliver a resilient performance during the last few months and will continue to be a key driver of growth for the FMCG industry,” said
Gopalan, CEO, P&G Indian Subcontinent.
The American maker of Pantene shampoo and Ariel detergent said this is part of its ‘vGROW’ programme, which will offer a platform to existing and new suppliers to pitch their solutions to P&G’s leadership team to accelerate rural growth.
The Indian unit of the world’s biggest consumer products firm said accelerating growth in the rural market is a strategic priority and the new fund will partner firms which understand the rural DNA and can enable them to deliver superior products, communication, retail execution and value to rural consumers.
“We also want to invest in empowering rural kiranas with tech-enabled solutions and best practices on inventory and store management that will help them build their businesses further. We are confident that through these partnerships we will be able to contribute towards the inclusive growth of the rural economy,” Gopalan said.
The pandemic has pushed the adoption of digital technology, enabling kirana stores and neighbourhood and mom-and-pop shops to adopt technology to expand their businesses – from billing and customer service to procurement and logistics across urban and rural markets.
This has led to several technology solutions companies entering the market with many raising funds to expand and cash on the surging business.
“Technology adaptation has been expedited with the onset of Covid-19. At this juncture, retailers have to up their ante to be able to get the first mover advantage and get a larger market share of the new users,” said Vamsi Udayagiri, founder at rural tech firm Hesa, which raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Venture Catalysts this year. “In the last two years of pandemic-induced online purchasing, a new segment of consumers and retailers has been added to the retail ecosystem,” Udayagiri said.
P&G has been hosting events over the past four years to identify potential partners among sustainable solutions providers of packaging innovations, renewable sources of energy and means to reduce carbon footprint.
So far, it has invested more than Rs 680 crore in partnerships on new-age, innovative and sustainable business solutions.