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Report on Consumer Co-operative Store Study Visit 2019 - Mumbai, India


Co-operatives in Maharashtra  are governed like other Indian co-operatives both by the Federal Law (The Co-operative Societies Act, 1912) and State Law (for e.g. the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960). Usually, primary consumer co-operatives are governed by State Laws. The authority for Consumer Affairs is the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public. To be registered a co-operative must have at least 500 members.


The study visit to four co-operatives took place between 8th January to 12th January, 2019.


1. Sahakari Bhandar


Official name: The Colaba Central Co-op Consumers' Wholesale & Retail Stores Ltd.

Year of establishment: 1967

History: In 1962, the border disputes between China and India led to shortage of supplies. This triggered a campaign to start co-operative associations by the State Government as a solution to procure supplies. As a result, in the latter half of the 1960s, many co-operatives were established under the guidance of the State Government.

Share Capital: 2.2 million INR (approx. 31,500 USD)


Number of members: 3,000


  • The members include the middle class in Mumbai city such as civil servants. Apart from members, the cooperative issues "Store membership cards"  to store users. 250,000 people are currently availing the "Store membership" which enables free membership fee and an additional discount of 1% when using the store.
  • Number of employees: 1,500 (including temporary workers)
  • Business: Retail (Mainly store operations and partial delivery operations)
  • Total Sales: Rs. 3.5 billion (approx. 49 million USD). It is the largest co-operative and the third largest retailer in the state of Maharasthra.


Stores and scale:


  • Extra small (82-92 square meter): 2 Stores approx. 5,000 SKU
  • Small (325-464 square meter): 9 Stores approx. 6,000 SKU
  • Medium (650-836 square meter): 8 Stores approx. 6,500 SKU. The stores mentioned above carry the "Sahakari Bhandar" brand and enjoy a minimum of 2% discount on all products.
  • Large (930- 1,860 square meter): 4 Stores approx. 6,700 SKU. The Large stores carry the "Smart Sahakari Bhandar" brand and enjoy a minimum of 6% discount on all products (from April 2018). 70% of the items are in the food category and the remaining are in the non-food category.



The PET bottle recycling machine at the premises of Sahakari Bhandar.


Social Contribution Activities:


The co-operative collects milk cartons and juice packs (tetra pak) and partners with regional NGOs to make various recycled items (i.e. notebooks, desks and chairs etc.). The recycled items are then provided to local schools. They have also set up PET bottle crushing machines which is a unique and interesting initiative. A coupon providing a discount of INR 1 coupon per bottle is generated when a PET bottle in the machine. It also carries out garbage collection drives at regional events (like marathons). The co-operative empowers people with disabilities (PWD) with 15% of the workforce comprising PWDs.


Contact Information:


Tel  +91 22 2839 5810


Website/Social Media Presence


2. Apna Bazar


Official Name: Mumbai Kamgar Madhyawarti Grahak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit

Year of establishment: 1948

History: Local social activists and factory workers formed co-operatives to protect the interests and rights of working class after World War II. Initially, they dealt with clothing and medicines; opened grocery stores from 1967; and grew to a comprehensive supermarket, handling food and household items.


  • Share Capital: Rs. 22 million (approx. 314,000 USD)
  • Number of members: 9,383. The members include farmers, fishermen, workers, civil servants and in the town (belonging to the low to middle class).
  • Number of employees: 475 (including temporary workers)
  • Business: Retail (mainly store operations, partial delivery operations), Gas supply business (local Government contractor)
  • Total Sales: Rs. 1.14 billion (approx. 16 million USD)


Stores and Scale:


  • Small (37-46 square meter ):  4 Stores, approx. 3,000 SKU
  • Medium (55- 92 square meter): 13 Stores, approx. 6,000 SKU
  • Large (464-557 square meter):  6 Stores, approx. 6,800 SKU. 60% of the items are in the non-food category and the remaining are in the food category.
  • Pharmacy Business: The co-operative has 4 Shops (3 Shops are part of larger stores, 1 is a stand-alone shop) 20,200 SKU. The members can avail a 10% discount from regular prices for pharmaceutical products.
  • Gas distribution center: 1(in store)


Contact Information:


Tel + 91 2419 5200

E mail

Website/ Social media presence


3. Raigad Bazar


Official name: Shribag Sahakari Madhyavarty Grahak Mandal Ltd.

Established year: 1986


At the premises of the Shribag Sahakari Madhyavarty Grahak Mandal Ltd.


History: Regional politicians and their families established cooperative banks and then established some co-operatives, one of which is the Raigad Bazar. It is based in Alibaug (100 km east of Mumbai with a population of 50,000, a typical rural town with many fishermen and farmers.)


  • Number of members: 4,925
  • The members include farmers, fishermen, workers, civil servants and office goers in the town (belonging to the low to middle-class)
  • Business: Retail (mainly store operation, partial delivery operation), Gas supply business (Local Government contractor)
  • Total Sales: Rs. 300 million (approx. 4.2 million USD)


Stores and Scale:


  • Medium (92-140 square meter): 7 Stores approx. 7,000 SKU. 90% of the items are in the food category with the remaining in the non-food category.
  • Large (2,300 m2): 1 Store approx. 10,000 SKU. There is a 50-50 split in the categories of the items. The co-operative is the only retailer for electronic products (i.e. TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, etc.) in Alibaug. The members avail discounts on all products.
  • Pharmacy: 2 shops (located in the store)
  • Gas distribution center: 1 which covers almost all households in the Alibaug area.
  • Social Contribution Activities
  • Hiring women in town for packaging work of grains.


Contact :

Tel  + 91 2141 222 576

E mail /

Website/Social Media presence


4. Sahakar Bazar


Official name: Kalwa Madhywarti Grahak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit

Established year: 1945

History: Farmers and workers (mainly tailors) who live in the suburbs of Mumbai (Navi Mumbai) and who wanted stable supplies of food formed co-operatives to counter sharp increases in prices  because of shortage.


  • Share Capital: Rs. 8.1 million (approx. 114,108 USD)
  • Number of members: 7,221. The members include farmers, workers, employees etc. (belonging to the low to middle class)
  • Number of Employees: 165 (Including temporary workers)
  • Business: Retail(Store operation)
  • Total Sales: Rs. 33 million (approx. 464,886 USD)


Number of stores and scale:


  • Stores : 10 Stores,  approx. 6,000 SKU. 60% of the items are in the food category, while 40% are in the non-food category.
  • Pharmacy: 2 shops 10,000 SKU
  • Milk Sales Center: 1
  • Social Contribution Activities - Members are assisted with a discount of 50% for an annual medical check-up. The co-operative also undertakes initiatives to protect the environment by planting trees in the community. Till now it has planted close to 200,000 trees.


Contact Information:

Tel  +91 22 2534 7429

E mail

Website/Social Media presence