27th August 2015, Bangalore: Connect India (CI), today announced the launch of their services across the country, in the presence of Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education. The award-winning composer-playback singer Mr. Shankar Mahadevan enthralled the audience with a special anthem composed for the Connect India Movement. Also present at the event were well-known lyricist Sameer Pandey and Suresh Peter, Composer of the Connect India anthem.
Connect India, founded by LR Sridhar, a veteran with over 35 years in the field of innovative logistics solutions, aims at creating a robust pan India last mile delivery network, covering over 25000 pin codes connecting all the metro, million plus population cities, 8000 plus small towns and create outreach to 500,000 villages . This Business model aims at developing a hyper local neighborhood convenience model of 1 sq. km delivery areas for urban markets and last few mile access for rural markets. Long term vision of CI is that, this distribution platform will also work towards generating Re Commerce (rural enterprise) by empowering small rural artisans and producers to sell their produce through various e-commerce platforms.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. LR Sridhar said, “In spite of financial products, mobility and Internet fairly easily accessible in India, e-commerce delivery capabilities and access to e-commerce platforms are available to a marginal 5000 to 6000 pin codes by private players, while Indian post provides access to over 19,000 pin codes. Connect India’s robust platform will have the capacity to create Hyperlocal distribution centers of 1x 1 Sq Km and connect rural India with urban India. This is where Connect India will be a game changer in the logistics sector.”
“We target to appoint over 50,000 last mile delivery entrepreneurs as Connect India Centers (CICs), who in turn will provide employment to more than 200,000 delivery associates or ‘Customer Connect Associates’ from their local communities in the next 3 years. The Company will act as a platform to drive Make in India initiative and make significant difference to the livelihoods.
We strongly believe that technology supported by local knowledge will be the key differentiator, with a strong Mobile First approach.”
“In line with our vision to transform last mile delivery in India, we undertook a pilot with Connect India to create rural delivery outreach in Punjab. We are very excited to see the impressive results of the pilot. As part of the pilot we fulfilled 65 % of the orders the very first day in remote rural areas of Punjab and received cash on delivery within 24 hours. The volume of shipments is significantly increasing in these untapped pin codes across the country. Hence we aim to leverage the network of Connect India to serve our customers better in such areas going forward” said Samuel Thomas, Director Transportation, Amazon India.
Mr. Vineet Rai, CEO and Managing Director of Aavishkaar, which recently invested Rs. 32 cr in Connect India to enhance e-commerce in rural sector said, “Connect India has a robust model of developing village level entrepreneurs to bring efficient logistics and reverse logistics to taluk and sub-taluk-level communities. We believe this could create substantial development and livelihood impacts in rural India.”
Internet and logistic connectivity are tools that will go hand in hand to develop commerce in places, which do not appear on the potential index. Connect India will leverage the Digital India platform in a manner to provide services that will benefit the user and producer by bridging them in a fair and transparent way. Going forward, CI intends to connect several likeminded companies to participate in improving design, packaging and quality of the yield of small and medium producers to improve small brown-box commerce and ramp up the economy on the next growth trajectory.