Even as the Internet revolution in India is pacing ahead, the enterprising minds from the retail industry are using it for deriving maximum benefits for their company revenues and also deliver higher service value to consumers. Coherent with this is a brand new concept called S-commerce – an initiative backed by Shapoorji Pallonji Group. This is expected to help push the services industry paradigm as a whole. The venture will be called Suvidhaa Infoserve Private Limited.
Paresh Rajde, managing director, Suvidhaa Infoserve, said, “I am delighted to present to the people of India a whole new category and a whole new genre of business, one that will ultimately provide every important service to millions of consumers on a single platform.” Further, “We describe this stream of business as S-Commerce, and this will roll out in India through a new venture called Suvidhaa Infoserve Pvt Ltd. I believe S-Commerce has immense potential for consumers and service providers alike, and will work wonders for our nation, taking it even faster on the road to healthy economic growth.”
Suvidhaa Infoserve will enable people across the country to avail any service across any sector at single-window access points in a click-and-mortar set-up. Rajde announced that the company will launch its services on a franchise model for consumers by September 2007 –across 20 cites to start with, and then cover at least 50 cities in the second year, and 75 cities by the third year.” Delhi is the first city where this service will be available, to be followed by Mumbai in mid-September.
The services Suvidhaa will provide to consumers relate to travel, utilities, telecom, entertainment, finance, education, telemedicine, e-governance, lifestyle, and payment collection, among others. Giving details of the rollout of Suvidhaa’s franchisee model, Rajde said, “We will have a three-tier network, with Suvidhaa flagship stores as tier 1. The size of these stores will be up to 500 square feet. Next will be Suvidhaa Points – a shop-in-shop model in shops and neighbourhood convenience stores. The third tier of our distribution network will be Key Corporate Accounts for companies and their employees, to be implemented on a shop-in-corporate model. Each outlet will cover 2,500 families.”
Plans include setting up of 10,000 Suvidhaa Points by end of first year and increasing the count to 100,000 by end of third year. The flagship stores will go up from 500 by end of first year to 3,000 by end of third year; and Key Corporate Accounts will rise from 2,000 by end of first year to 25,000 by end of third year.
Suvidhaa’s distribution network is expected to be a significant contributor to the economy. By end of the third year, the company expects to provide direct employment to about 300,000 people. “We shall consciously give preference to the needy and deserving, such as unemployed youth and war widows. As a company, we believe strongly in giving back to society,” Jha said.
Investment details for the venture have not been disclosed so far.
– Mumbai Bureau