Creating Customer Satisfaction and Profitable Value Chain with E-Commerce in Rural India

Topics: Agriculture, Value chain, Supply chain Pages: 34 (11228 words) Published: June 20, 2009
Creating Customer Satisfaction And Profitable Value Chain With E-commerce In Rural India A case based approach
Sanjeeve Verma1
ABSTRACT We live in a world increasingly propelled by technological change. The thrust lies in a quest to make our lives better, simpler and more productive through electronic commerce (or E-commerce). Agriculture in India has been identified as one of the great promises of e-commerce; the high level of fragmentation present in the supply chain, large volumes traded, and homogeneous products only reinforced the expectations. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is relatively new to the agricultural industry, and affects such aspects of the organization as its strategy, processes, customer relationship, information technology, and business culture. E-commerce markets are expected to be more transparent and more perfectly competitive than physical INTRODUCTION Digital inclusion and electronic connectivity can be a tool to empower rural India. Some of the demonstrated opportunities includes Akshaya (Kerala) for education, for general health, e-Choupal, Tara Haat, Drishtee, NDDB, etc. for leveraging economic gains, Bhoomi, eSeva, Gyandoot, Lokvani, NEGP, etc. toward creation of electronic governance, SARI in Tamilnadu, n-Logue in many states, and NIC centers in the North East as multipurpose tele-centers to name a few. Some of the recent initiatives in this area also include Lifelines, which is a digital inclusion program helping rural communities in India to become a part of the digital society. It is a voice-based service for village communities and helps them to become a part of India’s fast-growing digital society by providing them information related to agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, fisheries, dairy sciences and post harvest technologies. In the sphere of voice-based agricultural advice, there is government – assisted Kisan Call Centre (KCC). This is a nationwide tollfree Question & Answer system accessed via the number 1551 but only from BSNL/MTNL landlines. The service provides “real-time” responses to queries from farmers and currently averages 50,000 calls per month. There are a couple of other agricultural-based information services in India like “e-Sagu,” where the agricultural expert delivers advice by getting the crop status in the form of digital photographs and other information. The farmer is charged annually on per acre basis. Presently 30 villages are covered in pilot. Agriculture is vital to India. It produces 23% of GDP, feeds a billion markets, conditions that should attract more consumers and thus increase demand. Through case studies, this article analyzes the factors influencing customer’s satisfaction and profitability in rural value networks through adoption of e-commerce strategies. This study will also assess how Internet adoption and the use of e-commerce strategies impact rural development and the overall sustainability paradigm in India. Key Words: Electronic Commerce, Rural Retailing, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Customer Intelligence, Customer Satisfaction, Economic Competitiveness. JEL Classification Number: Q13 people, and employs 66% of the workforce. Because of the Green Revolution, India’s agricultural productivity has improved to the point that it is both self-sufficient and a net exporter of a variety of food grains. Yet most Indian farmers have remained quite poor. The causes include remnants of scarcity-era regulation and an agricultural system based on small, inefficient landholdings. The agricultural system has traditionally been unfair to primary producers. Soybeans, for example, are an important oilseed crop that has been exempted from India’s Small Scale Industries Act to allow for processing in large, modern facilities. Yet 90% of the soybean crop is sold by farmers with smallholdings to traders, who act as purchasing agents for buyers at a local, governmentmandated marketplace, called a mandi. Farmers...
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