Connect India-Building a Rural Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Case Code: OPER150
Case Length: 11 Pages
Period: 2015-2021
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.250
Organization : Connect India E-Commerce Services Private Limited (Connect India)
Industry :Transport & Logistics
Countries : India
Themes: Logistics & Supply Chain,Rural Markets,Platform Ecosystem,E-commerce
Tesco's Supply Chain Management Practices
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Business Model

Connect India had a local, partner-driven, asset-light, variable business model that focused on last-mile delivery, demand generation, and assisted e-commerce . It focused more on creating a physical distribution system and less on developing technology since many start-up players had already begun to offer technology platforms related to logistics services in the market. The company looked at technology as an enabler for the company’s vision and mission of empowering rural areas and believed that it was people who were important in creating a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem..

Primary Services Offered

The core service of Connect India was to help e-commerce and consumer goods companies deliver products to customers in remote areas of India that were not serviced by organized logistics and delivery companies. The company claimed that it had developed a robust distribution chain that penetrated both urban and remote rural areas like no other company in the history of India. The company gridded the entire country into a 1x1 square kilometer layout and created efficient routes for every district, town, and city..

Partnerships for Operational Scale-Up

In December 2015, Connect India entered into partnerships with common service centers (CSCs) and United Parcel Service (UPS), a US-based multinational supply chain and logistics company, to scale its business network and realize its vision of covering 26,000 pin codes and establishing 50,000 CICs. At the time of signing the partnership agreements, Connect India had a network of more than 3,500 CICs delivering goods and services to 2,500 pin codes..


The Indian rural areas offered several business opportunities to corporates. Although rural consumers had a much lower per capita income than their urban counterparts, with rising incomes, they aspired for a better standard of living and sought out quality products. Like their urban counterparts, an increasing number of rural consumers were using a number of sources to make informed choices..

Future Plans

The company planned to raise funds from large investors to further expand its tested and proven business model. Sridhar claimed that the STEMS model had increased the earnings of Connect India’s partners by two times and attracted many urban migrants back to their home towns in rural India. In 2019, Sridhar had plans to create a network of more than 100,000 entrepreneurs and generate more than 500,000 jobs by 2024..


Exhibit I: Connect India’s Last-Mile Delivery Model
Exhibit II: Connect India’s Competitors

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