Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar (HKB), the rural retail initiative of the Rs 2,540-crore DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited (DSCL), is now heading for eastern and southern India in tune with its national expansion plan.
There are close to 100 outlets of HKB in the six northern states where HKB is already present. These states are Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
Speaking to Indiaretailing, a source close to the company said that HKB stores in eastern India are expected by the latter part of next year. However, the company chose not to make any comment about expanding in that region at this stage.
As far as South India is concerned, HKB has recently opened its first store at Eluru in Andhra Pradesh (65 kilometres from Vijayawada). By the end of fiscal 2008-09, DSCL plans to open about 250 stores of KHB across India.
Ajay Shriram, chairman and senior managing director, said, “Encouraged by the success of the Hariyali chain in northern states, we are pursuing an expansion plan across the country. The opening of our first farmers’ agri service & retail centre in South India is a reinforcement of DSCL’s commitment to make available appropriate farming technology and a range of quality products to the farming and rural communities.”
Shriram added, “To further strengthen our foothold in southern India, we plan to launch several new outlets across Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the next couple of months”.
Each HKB centre operates in a catchment of about 20 kilometres. A typical centre caters to agricultural land of about 50,000-70,000 acres and seeks to address a consumer count of approximately 15,000 farmers.
In a bid to emerge as a one-stop resource centre for farmers, the KHB stores also provide 24X7 support through a team of agronomists based at the centre. Taking its scope beyond only agri produce, HKB also sells FMCG and other products, which the rural populace is likely to buy as consumers.
– Raja Ghoshal