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ITC e-Choupal: Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural India  
Product Ref: 08/384C Company: ITC

Product Type: Case Industry: Conglomerates
Food, Beverage & Tobacco

Related Product(s): Teaching Note
Business decisions need not be intentionally altruistic, but empowering the community eventually creates both notional wealth (in the form of brand recognition) and actual wealth (in the form of profits) for companies. Set against the backdrop of underserved, overexploited rural India, this case highlights how the use of technology by the Indian conglomerate ITC has transformed the lives of many rural Indians while at the same time benefiting the company. Continually plagued by an inefficient supply chain in rural agriculture, ITC implemented the e-Choupal initiative in 2000. By establishing a direct channel between the farmer and ITC, e-Choupal significantly marginalised the role of middlemen, thereby ensuring farmers more money for their produce. In doing so, e-Choupal not only mitigated ITC¡¦s agrarian supply chain concerns, but also achieved a greater good¡Xthe economic uplift and empowerment of the Indian farmer. Although e-Choupal was conceived as ITC¡¦s answer to its supply-chain woes, ITC was quick to realise that it had discovered the delicate balance between achieving corporate profitability and making a social contribution. Aware of the multitude of challenges faced by impoverished rural Indians, ITC extended its e-Choupal framework to deliver core services, such as healthcare, education and information. Evolving into a platform for community development, e-Choupal is both eradicating poverty and chipping away at rural isolation, even while ITC continues to enjoy the benefits of functional procurement and distribution value chains.
Functional Area : Social Enterprises & Ethics
Strategy & General Management

Issues: Blending social responsibility with corporate profitability
Length: Text: 15 pages
Exhibits: 11 pages
Country: India

Pub. Year: 2008 Level of Difficulty: 3
This product type is available in the following language(s):      English
Related Information: N/A
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