SPECIAL GUEST ADDRESS: Dr Rakesh Singh, Chairman, Institute of Supply Chain & Management, India

Dr. Rakesh Singh Chairman Institute of Supply Chain Mumbai and is also the distinguished professor of Supply chain strategy and economics at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai. Dr Singh has taught at NMIMS, SPJIMR and SPJCM Singapore and Dubai. He is a visiting faculty at IIM Kolkata and Ranchi and Athens University of Economics and Business. He is widely published in both national and international journals. He is a respected consultant and trainer for various companies like L&T, Nivea, Crompton greaves, Syngenta, Murugappa group, JISL, Thermax and many others. He is a speaker at major supply chain forums across the world. His area of interest includes, rural supply chains, demand planning and forecasting and Macroeconomics.

ADDRESS TITLE: Overcoming ‘last mile’ challenges’ to reach consumers in India’s 600,000 villages'.

Rural markets provide a vast opportunity for MNCs in India. In the past companies have been flirting with rural markets without much commitment. There are three important flows in rural markets. Urban to rural for consumables and expendables; urban to rural for agricultural inputs; and rural to urban for agricultural produce. Rural and agricultural marketing suffers from poor infrastructure, and credit constraints, making the cost of reaching rural markets high. Farmers on the other hand do not easily find access to markets, directly leading to lower realization for their products. Many corporates have taken initiatives to tap rural markets, without much success. This address suggests a collaborative supply chain model which incorporates these flows. It also evaluates initiative by TATA, MAHINDRA and ITC, and suggests the way forward.

Dr Rakesh Singh