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ElasticRun’s quest to organise retail in small towns, villages

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Aditi Shrivastava

156 reads
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Aditi Shrivastava

156 reads

The B2B commerce platform has created a network of over 1 million kiranas and delivery gig workers in India’s hinterlands. This year, it plans to cover segments beyond FMCG. But the operational complexities of the business will continue to keep it on its toes

March 08, 2022

10 MINS READ

Kannauj lies about 80 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and is home to nearly 85,000 people, fitting the traditional description of a small town. But for entrepreneur Sandeep Deshmukh, it is an important and a sizable geography. So are the neighbouring towns of Bilgram, Tirwaganj and Bangarmau, each with a population of less than 30,000.

For the longest time, consumer goods companies and distributors drove past India’s quietest corners without a second glance as the cost of selling there was higher than the projected returns. Deshmukh, born in a farming family in Maharashtra’s Pimpalgaon Raja village, experienced the skewed market dynamics early in his life. 

“Why would someone go to a remote village in UP when the topline can come so easily from a Bandra store (in Mumbai)?” said Deshmukh, who was a part of Amazon India’s launch team in 2011, focusing on formulating and executing its logistics networks.

In 2015, Deshmukh sought to spotlight the demand in underserved rural India by co-founding kirana commerce startup ElasticRun.

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