In a bid to strengthen its presence in rural regions, PepsiCo India has signed a pact with Common Services Centres (CSC) to list its food products on the Grameen e-Store. The company’s snacks — Lay’s, Kurkure and Uncle Chipps — will be listed on CSC’s e-commerce platform that has been set up to promote digital ordering and doorstep delivery in rural areas. In the initial phase, PepsiCo India is starting a pilot in Sultanpur District of Uttar Pradesh and its products will be listed on the Grameen e-store through 264 Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs).

This partnership comes at a time when the FMCG industry is banking on faster recovery in demand in rural regions in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the growth in rural demand expected to outpace urban demand, FMCG companies are focusing on ramping up their direct and indirect distribution in rural regions.

In July, Coca-Cola India had also announced a similar partnership with CSCs and said that its products will be listed on the Grameen e-Store platform across Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

CSCs come under the aegis of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the CSC Grameen e-Store can only be set up by CSC VLEs. This e-commere initiative was kick-started in April and so far over nine lakh orders worth ₹70 crore have been serviced through the CSC’s rural e-commerce initiative.

Aditya Sinha, Senior Director and Head-Sales, PepsiCo India said said that the company has been focusing on strengthening the last mile connectivity in rural communities. “One of the biggest challenges posed by the pandemic, was the reverse migration of the working class from cities to rural areas. Given this reality, making our products available via innovative service channels across the rural landscape clearly emerged as a key priority area for PepsiCo India,” he said.

“Our partnership with the CSC Grameen e-Store will further boost our efforts to delivery consumers’ favourite snacks at their doorstep in the rural regions,” Sinha added.