“The e-commerce portal will include a nationwide participation by real-world retailers, who have served Indian consumers over the years, and in many cases, even across generations. To be owned by the traders themselves, it will ensure privacy of consumers’ data,” CAIT said in a statement.
On April 24, CAIT had said that it has joined hand with the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) to come up with an e-commerce platform for local retailers and grocery stores.
It said that the marketplace will integrate capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers including deliveries at home.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal while addressing the media in a video conference on Friday said that the portal is a result of the experiences gained by CAIT, while working with DPIIT to ensure supply of essential goods in containment zones during the periods of lockdown.
Khandelwal said: “We have already started this program as a pilot, initially with a limited number of essential commodities, in six cities, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur and Bengaluru with tremendous response from retailers, distributors and even consumers. This has now grown to 90+ cities in a matter of two weeks.”
The learnings from the pilot will allow CAIT to scale up to many more locations and soon to categories beyond groceries, he said.
Further, the traders, their employees and all delivery persons will invariably use the Aarogya Setu app for their safety.
The development comes days after Amazon announced its new programme ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ aimed at enabling local and small shops and retailers to sell their products online. Further, Reliance Industries also has announced the JioMart-WhatsApp partnership to enable transactions between ‘kiranas’ and consumers and support small businesses.
Khandelwal and CAIT have been critical of the e-commerce majors Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart for a long time largely on the “deep discounting” issue and have alleged the online behemoths made the trade uncompetitive for the offline traders.