Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives
GVT has created a Social Entrepreneurship Fund to facilitate and support to social and professional enterprises. GVT will provide the technical knowhow and a seed capital to support such enterprise which can address social issues and at the same time can be made to run on a business mode. These social and professional enterprises will function as the agents of change. Some of the enterprises which have already started,are marketing of Handicrafts & production and marketing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables by tying up with Mandis, Bigbazar and Mother dairy.
To provide a platform and facilitate market linkage to the tribal SHGs, GVT has formed Yogini Handicraft. Yogini Handicraft procures products from these groups at market price and provide market linkages to these SHGs by displaying all these items at various places in the metros through stalls and exhibitions. Yogini Handicraft is in constant touch with corporates and individuals who have a flavor for handicraft items. Once it gets a bulk order, it passes it to various SHGs and agencies dealing with handicraft items. Yogini handicraft has become a point of contact between the SHGs and the end customers and is also a platform where SHGs and agencies dealing with handicrafts from various parts can interact with each other.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
This initiative has also been started on a pilot scale for the marketing of vegetables being produced in Shahjahanpur. GVT has brought farmers producing a particular vegetable and fruit under one umbrella. It procures vegetables and fruits from these farmers at a higher price than what is usually paid to these farmers by the middlemen and agents, and supply it to the Mandis and other retail outlets.
CART Based Retail Vending of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
In the beginning organized sales of Fresh vegetables was started in Patna with the vision of providing better prices to farmers for their produce, and providing them an organized network of selling their products in the cities, without the hassles of middlemen and mandis. This meant picking the vegetables at the farm-gates and directly reaching to retail outlets at Patna, in minimum time. This has also benefitted the consumers as the quality parameters ensure supply of fresh, pure and hygienic vegetables.
In the beginning, farmers were identified at the local mandis and contacts were built thereafter with them and procurement of vegetables started at their farm-gates. Well-set distribution machinery was established to intricately reach the vegetables in various Point of Supply, POS at Patna after procurement at the farm-gates.
In September 2012, retailing of these vegetables was started at Patna on carts. These specially designed carts have a cooling system and have good display and visibility. The motive was to provide opportunities for vendors/carts men to have an assured income and less transaction time. The vision included providing them a life with identity and dignity along with social and financial inclusion. The initiative started out with one cart but the same has now been scaled up to 10 carts located in Patna. It is planned to further scale up to 50 carts and include other districts as well.
Initially, there was no response to the carts as people were following their age old methods of procuring vegetables. With passage of time and continuous campaigning, attention of the people shifted to the quality and better pricing of the vegetables on our carts. The pre-packaging and weighing was another convenience that people started finding useful. Home Delivery model is also promoted through our carts.
The carts are manned by ex-vendors initially employed on salary basis, although now they are on salary + incentive basis. They have been trained to harness the core competencies of vegetable retailing. Eventually, it is aimed to bring them totally on incentive basis. The carts are to run in two shifts, one in the morning and then in the evening.
At present, the carts are collectively below break-even. However, continuous campaigning and training of carts men show a promising trend of continuous growth in sales. Average sales per cart at present is Rs. 1000/- in two shifts.