ITC e-Choupal: Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural India Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Set against the backdrop of under-served, over exploited rural India, this case highlights the use of technology by the Indian conglomerate ITC transformed the lives of many rural Indians at the exact same time that it was helping the company. Constantly plagued by an inefficient supply chain in rural agriculture, ITC implemented the e-Choupal initiative in 2000. Under the initiative, ITC set up small Internet kiosks in villages that enabled farmers access to a transparent and efficient option to the conventional mandi for marketing their produce. By forming a direct route between the farmer and ITC, e- Choupal considerably marginalized the role of middlemen, as a result ensuring farmers more cash for their produce.

In doing so, e- Choupal not only mitigated ITC's agrarian supply chain concerns but also reached a greater good- the economic uplift and empowerment of the Indian farmer. Although e-Choupal was visualized as ITC's answer to their supply chain woes, ITC was quick to comprehend that they had found the delicate balance between making a social contribution and achieving corporate profitability. Mindful of the multitude of challenges faced by impoverished rural Indians, ITC extended its e-Choupal framework to deliver core services, for example access to healthcare, instruction and advice. They even liaised with other companies, including fast-moving consumer goods firms and finance companies, to deliver services and products to rural Indians that were simply not available or had formerly controlled enormous premiums. Evolving into a proposal for community development, e-Choupal was both eradicating poverty and chipping away at rural isolation while ITC continued to have the benefits of practical procurement and distribution value chains.

PUBLICATION DATE: June 30, 2008 PRODUCT #: HKU765-PDF-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about STRATEGY & EXECUTION

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