Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Fascination with Innovative Mobile Delivery Options

Mobile Retail Delivery is as old as Retail itself and hence my fascination with that delivery model with regard to all the innovation that can be tried out out in this space to leverage the same. India already boasts of 12 or 14 million retail outlets depending on which consultant’s report you are referring to. Also, what is not clear is whether this number includes the hawkers AKA mobile retail. Anyways, lets forget this Akbar-and-Birbal method of trying to measure Indian Retail.
Mobile Retail or mobile vending has been there in various forms from ancient times be it the street hawkers, the boat peddlers of Dal Lake, Floating market of Bangkok or more recently the floating supermarket in Kerala. However, one peculiarity barring the floating supermarket is the self limitation that these entrepreneurs impose on themselves as also the fact that the evolving Indian Retail Market seems to completely ignore it’s enormous potential.

Since 2009 I have been lamenting the fact that that this segment represents an enormous potential and had written a detailed article in The Hindu Business Line.
A cartoon in The Hindu

 Ironically, The Hindu published this cartoon a few months later which epitomizes my construct. Till now this was a thought, a concept, something in the air. Today I saw this is in action and want to share this with my readers.

This picture is that of a normal neighbourhood iron man who does laundry and pressing.

Now watch an innovative mobile retailer has done.

- Put a shed and used it to advertise other services

He has done this a few months ago since he and his friends got this idea. He parks the cart in a safe spot during the night and operates from here during the day. I would not be surprised if he started selling various small essential products.

The difference between the earlier iron man and the second person is all about inititive and drive about which I have written in this post as also earlier ones. When will this become a mass movement?

Imagine if a Retail chain were to leverage this enormous potential of mobile Retail! Brand such carts, offer small, high margin and often used SKUs, so on and so forth.

Some food for thought ???


Post a Comment