Amid race to woo small traders, CAIT readies online portal for kiranas

Topics CAIT | Kirana stores | Lockdown

A shopkeeper wears a mask and sanitizes his hands at Crawford market in Mumbai Photo: PTI
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday announced the launch of its portal for kiranas, saying it would begin operations in a month’s time.

Called, the announcement comes at a time when e-tailers Amazon and Flipkart and offline player Reliance Retail, which is running trials of its new commerce venture Reliance JioMart, are also wooing small traders.

Last week, JioMart began taking WhatsApp orders in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, and Dombivli within days of Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, picking up a 9.99 per cent stake in Reliance-owned Jio.

Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT, said the body had onboarded business networking platform GlobalLinker for providing the core technology support to the portal, while the All India Transporters Welfare Association would provide the logistics support to traders. “We are onboarding more technology providers. The platform will be based on geotagging,” he said.

The platform has signed up 6,300 retailers in 90 cities, and will levy no transaction fee or commission on sellers along with zero delivery charges for consumers once it begins taking orders.  Apart from grocery and essential items, apparel, footwear and other non-essential goods will also be sold, Khandelwal said. Delivery will be made within two hours of purchase by the nearest retailer in the city, he said.

The portal, which has been in the works for a while, has been promoted by PM Narendra Modi’s Startup India and Invest India initiatives, along with the All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation, as well as small business lender Avana Capital.

CAIT has a tie-up with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), part of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to get the portal going.

“We have never protested against e-commerce in India but against the companies indulging in malpractices. This marketplace aims to provide a clean platform for traders and an assurance of genuine products for consumers. Traders will also have a stake in the venture,” Khandelwal said.


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