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Canteen Stores Department to Go Online By Diwali

CSD, which has always been the centre of criticism for alleged restriction on products, is expanding its depots

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The Canteen Stores Department (CSD) which is India’s largest retailer with a revenue of over 17,000 crore rupee in the fiscal year 2016-17, is expected to go online by this Diwali.

The CSD which supplies to all the three wings of the Indian armed forces namely Military, Air Force and Navy is undergoing a makeover. CSD, which has always been the centre of criticism for alleged restriction on products, is expanding its depots. CSD is also putting a system to make sure that more than 12 million of its customer base is well served. CSD is eyeing specifically on FMCG produces off its unit retail canteen (URC) shelves in accordance with its civilian counterparts from modern retail and Kirana stores.

It is the country’s largest retail network, which is also working closely with partner companies on a model that will reduce a long seek time and inconvenience involved in the purchase of white-goods. This is an effort to make sure that cardholders in CSD may access a wide range of white goods which is not yet the case as of now.

As per reports published in ‘Agribusiness and food industry’ edition of September, Air Vice Marshal, Baladitya who is heading the entire evolutionary program and is the chairman of the board of administration and GM of CSD is also very hopeful of executing this entire plan by Diwali this year.  He said, “We want our customers to buy the product of his or her choice the same day it is launched in the market”.  At present, CSD faces a huge seek time in making available most of such products. Baladitya also said that instead of only one board meeting for product clearance, the board will meet six times a year for faster decision making. CSD is also in talks with many of the manufacturers of consumer durables to smoothen the entire process.

CSD is planning to ensure that the documents are transmitted online. Once the depot issues an authority letter, its customers can pick up the white goods from any of the nearby distributors in the country. As most of the companies have their distributor network in all the major towns of the country, which is covering more than 80 per cent of CSD’s customer base, says the report.

CSD currently owns more than 34 depots across the length and breadth of the nation with 4,500 outlets reaching out to almost every army men and women, even in the most difficult terrains. CSD started its operations in 1921 for the then British troops and had a turnover of more than 48 lakhs during early post-Indian independence era in 1948. The current turnover is a massive 17,000 crore which is highest among all the retailers in the nation.

CSD was well prepared for the changes to cope up with GST roll out as it had started its preparations about four months in advance and is among the very few in the nation which attained normalcy within 10 days of this major tax roll out. Major contributors to the CSD sales are toiletries which accumulate a trade of around Rs 4500 crore and white goods and automobile with some 4,000 crore rupees and packaged food of some 3,500 crore rupees along with Rs 3,000 crore liquor trade and Rs 3,000 crore of other household goods.  

 


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