Echoupal Essay

2650 words - 11 pages

ITC is a company based out of India including several departments that negortiate sales in tobacco, coffee, food along with a few other divisions. The company's overall objective is to implement sustainable economic growth within India. India has a large rural community that is considered to be at a disadvantage in terms of wealth. ITC is looking to proactively engage and turn these individuals into viable consumers.ITC's International Business Division, has been lagging behind other divisions. The company's CEO is looking for change that will make his soybean division begin to grow and catch up to the growth of his other divisions. Given that soybean and other products make up about three quarters of this division, the company begins to set its focus on this area.Although ITC has done well selling soybean products, the entire "value chain" was extremely inefficient operating with limited resources and lacking the flow of information between farmers. These two critical factors continue to plague the industry into a neverending cycle of ineffeciency. ITC's challenge was to come up with a new and innovative method to overcome these problems and work towards achieving the company's goals. Technology it was decided was the way to go, however developing a new technology system in rural villages that are barely developed and where many people have never seen a computer is quite the challenege.In order to begin this project, ITC first must research the culture and politics of the industry. Historically, in soybean producing areas villagers would come together at the elder villager's home to share stories and exchange information about the days news or gossip. The meeting place was called a Choupal. ITC used this concept to work with the existing cultural gathering to minimize change and culture shock. The new initiative flourished as an online community called an eChoupal. It was designed to gather and share information and knowledge for as many individuals as possible in the industry, eliminating corruption and increasing transparency. ITC must make a large investment and provide computer terminals and training to villages so that they can be connected to the site. Although hardware and internet connection is costly, this was a long term investment, which ITC hoped would pay off enormously. Although the main stake holder in this project is ITC, the benefits will help the industry and the community at large. ITC also invested resources in developing great processing hubs that included facilities with precise scales to measure soy crops, agriscience services, and supplies of house amenities for farmers.SWOT AnalysisSTRENGTHS: ITC had 695 eChoupals in Madhya Pradesh, covering 8400 villages which represented 80% of the soybean and wheat growing areas. There were five processing units in Madhya Pradesh and 34 warehouses for a total of 44 points to which a farmer could bring his soybeans. eChoupal allows the farmers to check both future prices across the...

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