The popular defence canteens to undergo major makeover
The defence's popular Canteen Stores Department (CSD) is undergoing a major makeover with an aim to enhance consumer experience. Along with expanding its depots, it is also looking to ensure customers get access to the latest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) goods as soon as they are launched in the market. Presently, there's a lag effect, which might go up to a year.
About the CSD: From Rs. 48L turnover to Rs. 17,000cr
CSD was established in 1921. It has grown extensively: compared to a turnover of Rs. 48L in 1948, it touched Rs. 17,000cr last fiscal. The biggest contributors to its sales are toiletries (Rs. 4,500cr), white goods and cars (Rs. 4,000cr), packaged foods and supplements (Rs. 3,500cr), alcohol (Rs. 3,000cr) and other household goods (Rs. 3,000cr). There are 34 depots and 4,500 outlets in India.
The new changes being planned
CSD is talking to major FMCG brands like Hindustan Unilever and P&G to partner them. It will also make available all white goods on its website. Customers can pay online directly to the brand. New depots are being planned in Bhubaneswar, Danapar and Himachal. CSD is also mulling an app-based e-commerce model. Talks are on with experts.
Will it help the CSD recover from recent setbacks?
Recently, CSD came under fire for volume decline at some FMCG companies for the pre-GST quarter. But Baladitya has an explanation: "We hold one month's inventory, which we had to sell before we could buy fresh stocks under new GST prices. If we didn't wait, it would have resulted in dual-priced products." There were also reports CSD was planning restrictions on products. Baladitya denies.