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The ICA Committee on Consumer Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific (ICA-AP Consumer Committee) continues its work on Asian Consumer Co-operative research to explore the possibilities of co-operation between co-operatives in retail business.

 

The first visit of the year was to the financial capital of India, Mumbai, which has the most active consumer co-operatives in the country. The city with a population of 12 million living in an area of   600 sq km is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city attracts migrants from all over the country, who comprise 60% of the population. Modern supermarkets struggle for consumer patronage as their share is only 9%, when compared to 91% for the traditional "Baniya shops." Baniya shops are small retail stores (16 m2 ~ 66 m2), which exist in every corner of the city, with a wide selection of products and convenience services. From rice to cosmetics, it is possible to purchase all kinds of merchandise from these stores, purchase on credit (regular customers) and get it delivered to the home.  In this environment, with all its conveniences, the modern retailer is unable to compete with the Baniya shop.

 

At the Raigad Bazar premises

 

To read more about the landscape of consumer co-operatives in Mumbai and the case studies documented by the ICA-AP Consumer Committee, click here.