hdfc bank: HDFC takes a stake in CSC Grameen e-Store, focusing on rural commerce

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New Delhi: HDFC Bank bought 1.5% of the capital of CSC Grameen e-Store for an undisclosed amount.

It comes after the Tata Group’s digital arm – Tata Digital – bought a similar stake in the government-run rural e-commerce business in December.

India’s largest private sector lender is considering the platform to expand the reach of its products and services – especially the banking book – into rural areas, senior executives said.

HDFC Bank and CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd confirmed the development to ET.

The Grameen e-Store, launched in April last year, offers a wide range of products, including local crafts, groceries and consumer durables in remote areas. It received revenue of Rs 250 crore within one year of its launch.

This is a strategic investment through a small stake that “shows our commitment to the rural business model,” Smita Bhagat, group leader, government and institutional enterprises, e-commerce and startups, HDFC Bank, told ET.

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“This is a clear example of what a partnership between government and private actors can do. Look at its potential to transform consumers’ lives and we are benefiting from it through its reach in rural areas. It is a victory and a victory for both, ”added Bhagat.

The online store is managed by some 400,000 common service centers (CSC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Informatics (MeitY).

The ambitious rural e-commerce company has tapped big brands such as white goods retailer Tata Croma and leading financier HDFC Bank to scale up its operations. It already has partnerships with large multinationals such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola and local oil and gas giant Bharat Petroleum.

Dinesh Tyagi, managing director of CSC e-Governance Services, told ET that he will use the funds to strengthen the technology, distribution channels and product portfolio.

“So far the company has achieved 22.5 lakh (orders) with an order value of Rs 252 crore. Businesses see it as an excellent platform for accessing the rural network. For HDFC, hyper local e-commerce is a great story for India. Since we sell everything, the bank can give loans to these customers and even give credit facilities to e-commerce entrepreneurs. ”

Bhagat, HDFC Bank, said that since nearly 60-70% of the country’s population resides in semi-urban and rural areas, India will not be able to grow at a good rate unless the rural economy does not develop.

“Mobile penetration and internet usage are essential for development and we need to harness the adoption of technology to grow the economy,” she said, adding that the bank had integrated its systems. back to CHCs to ensure that all products and services available at its rural branches are also sold by village entrepreneurs of the CHCs.

“It’s the same with the Grameen e-Store which promotes local commerce,” Bhagat said.


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