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Transforming an Existing Supply Chain

May 10, 2017

Join the E-Commerce Law Committee and speaker Rohan Patnaik for a webinar on the role of technology in building efficiency in a prevalent inefficient supply chain.

9:00am Washington DC (2:00pm London, 3:00pm Paris, 6:30pm Bangalore)

Register here.

Speaker Bio:

Rohan is an engineer from IIT Bombay and MBA from IIM Lucknow. He started his career at Unilver, India as a management trainee working his way across businesses and functions (Supply Chain, Sales) over the next 6 years. He moved then to a challenging new role to set up the retail business at ColorPlus, a home-grown fashion ‘startup’ and expanding presence to 150+ Exclusive Branded Outlets over the next 4 years. During this time, he established a retail business in ColorPlus of 150 Cr with an EBITDA margin of 18% and set up all retail operations within the organization as well. He then worked in Diageo and turned around the business in the South over a period of 3 years after the company went through a turmoil in 2010. He got an opportunity to take the COOs role at Redbus and oversee all business verticals other than technology and engineering, leading various initiatives across verticals at Redbus during the time that he spent there.


The size of the vegetable market in India is USD 70 billion, accounting for about 3% of India's GDP. About 600 million people in India are engaged in Agriculture, 20% of which into growing vegetables. These farmers have very small farm holding. Of the 120 million farmers that are engaged in growing vegetables, 80% of them have land holdings of less than 2 acres. This makes it unviable for them to have any distribution bandwidth. This has given rise to multiple layers of middlemen who are enagaged in transporting farm produce from small villages to the markets of urban cities (where again multiple layers of auctioneers, wholesalers, traders exist) where bulk buyers trade in vegetable produce. This layered distribution erodes value through margin leakage and pilferage. Given that this category lacks technology and most transactions are in cash, gives rise to further inefficiencies. 

There is a need to establish a lean supply chain to connect farmers with bulk buyers, with technology empowering the supply chain. Farmers in the Developed economies, get about 50% of what the end consumer pays. This number in India is abysmally low at 15% - 20%, due to the inefficient supply chain that has existed in India for decades. By building efficiency into the supply chain, a significant part of the value needs to be returned back to the farmer as well. This is also a major government agenda, being mentioned clearly by the Honourable Finance Minister of India (Mr. Arun Jaitley) in his last budget speech (March 2017) that farmer incomes need to double over the next five years.