Interview

Root Identification and Systematic Monitoring System May Lead to Success in Marketing

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Nirmal Adhikari

We have to search for root of the any subject/problem and this root identification with systematic monitoring will lead to a success in marketing which is the result of good relation among all, writes Nirmal Adhikari, Additional Secretary, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Government of Tripura & Managing Director, Tripura Tea Development Corporation Ltd.

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Tripura is a small state in India. The co-operative movement in this state has started from 1949 and the result of effort is 11 apex level co-operative Societies, 212 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), 56 Lamps, 14 Primary Marketing cooperative Societies are in operation. Apart from these, there are other types of co-operative societies existing in Tripura like Tea Plantation, Fishery, Diary, Industry, Consumers and other multi-purpose societies.

All these co-operative societies are executed with the vision of ‘Strengthening, Modernising and Developing co-operative Sector as whole in order to become a pivotal stake-holder of Model State, Tripura by way of rendering service for Inclusive Growth, Good Governance and Mass Participation for Rural Prosperity & Urban advancement’.

The marketing strategy of Co-operation Department, Government of Tripura may be described in the following manner:

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Marketing Strategy

Since there are different types of co-operative societies functioning in the state, their nature and scope of operation is also different. Hence, various forms of marketing strategies have been adopted for their functioning and growth. The synopsis of which is as follows:

TSCB Bank: The bank has 62 branches and four extension counters with a deposit of Rs 2862.94 crore, out of which, advance of Rs 1681.14 crore as on March 31, 2019. The net worth of the Bank is Rs 16,529.42 crore maintaining 20.47 percent CRAR with a profit of Rs 15.59 crore during 2018- 19. The bank is running to expand credit activities in rural areas across the state through KCC (Kisaan Credit Card) loan in the shape of Joint Liability Groups (JLGs). Secondly, the bank is also looking forward to provide “Micro ATMs” through Large Area Multipurpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS)/PACS. Besides RuPay ATM Debit Card / RuPay KCC card have also been introduced by the Bank.

Thirdly, E-Stamping has already been introduced in the state of Tripura by Tripura State Cooperative Bank (TSCB) in 21 branches.

Since there are different types of co-operative societies functioning in the state, their nature and scope of operation is also different. Hence, various forms of marketing strategies have been adopted for their functioning and growth.

Fourthly, initiative has also been taken by the Bank for AADHAAR card authentication, modification, Initiation etc. along with PAN card processing services.

Fifthly, programmes are being implemented successfully for the welfare of common public and through these marketing strategies, access to common people has been made possible.

Tripura MARKFED Ltd: It is an Apex Level Society working with PMCS, LAMPS and PACS whole over the state. It is mainly engaged in LPG distribution business having consumer base of 14,500 consumers. Besides, it is also doing fertilizer business as an agent of IFFCO in the whole state of Tripura.

Secondly, the society is engaged in procurement of Minor Forest Produce Scheme with the Financial Support from Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India for strengthening of financial conditions of Tribal people.

Thirdly, it is also engaged in distribution of Generic Medicines through its 10  outlets with financial help of State Government to ensure the supply of quality medicines at affordable price to patients.

LAMPS/PACS/PMCS: Tripura is an agrarian state. A proposal has been sent to the State Government for procurement of Paddy directly from farmers through LAMPS/PACS & PMCS. As a result, farmers can directly sell their produce without involving any middlemen at a fair price and Cooperative societies will get commission for their development.

Secondly, it is also engaged in credit business (KCC & JLG) as per recommendation of Vaidyanathan Committee and as a result rural people get financial support for doing their agriculture and other business activities bearing very low margin of interest.

Thirdly, through deposit mobilisation among members, banking facility has been extended at the door step of people living in the remotest corner of society by the LAMPS and PACS.

Dairy Sector: Tripura Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd. (Gomati) collects fresh cow milk directly from the milk producers through Primary level societies. It is followed by milk processing (Pasteurising), packaging and marketing at a fair price, maintaining requisite standard quality which is safe for consumption of children and patients.

Besides, the Co-operative society is also engaged in marketing of various other milk products like cottage cheese (paneer), yogurt, ice cream, clarified butter (ghee) etc.

As an innovative attempt, the Gomati milk society is utilising social media through internet facility and road show by tableau for generating awareness among the common people and also for increasing marketing business.

Fishery Sector: Tripura Apex Fishery Co-operative Society is also working in tune w ith all the primary level fishery Co-operative societies, especially focusing in production of fish, fingerling, fish-feed etc. to meet up the local demand and ensure supply in hospitals for patients at a very reasonable price.

Tea Co-operatives: Tripura is a hilly state and agro-climatic condition is most congenial for producing of quality tea. Societies engaged in tea business do everything starting from plucking of tea leaves to marketing of processed tea not only in Tripura but also outside the state. Special emphasis has been given in the production of ‘green tea’ which has a huge demand throughout the country. Government is also enthusiastic in extending help and support through Tripura Tea Development Corporation.

Handloom & Handcrafts And Other Co-Operative Societies: The small artisans are making various exquisite varieties of handloom and handicraft products using bamboo, cane, wood etc. in order to sell through selling counters of Government of Tripura named ‘Purbasha’. It has a great demand in all over the country. Participation in rural huts, exhibition cum expo in major states, marketing through social media, emphasis on digital payment avenues have been explored.

For marketing strategy in co-operative sector as well as Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) Ltd., a unique system is being followed. The root of problems has been identified in this Corporation and constant monitoring is the key factor for its recent development. Recently, the quality of ‘Made Tea’ has improved due to proper plucking, processing and maintaining cleanliness in the factory. Last year, loss amount has been checked nearly Rs 1 crore and for the year 2019-20, TTDC Ltd. has fixed a target for profit making way. Recently sample survey of auction market has given their consent for valuation of CTC with the brand name ‘Tripureshwary Tea’ from Rs 128 per kg to Rs 165-170 per kg. This is a big achievement for TTDC Ltd.

Coming back to the buyer-seller relations between TTDC Ltd. and producers, they have given helping hands to the producers, especially small growers. They are getting good price, TTDC Ltd. is also maintaining good relations with common friend “The Broker”. Thus ensuring quality green tea leaves not from the big gardens only, also from small growers in Tripura, TTDC Ltd. is creating a new era.

Apart from the above functioning of Department of Co-operation, the role of the Tripura Tea Development Corporation and its strategy is articulated below:

  • To plant, grow, cultivate, produce and raise plantation of tea and all kinds of forest plants, trees crops and to buy, sell, re-sell, export, import, manufacture, process of tea and above related produces.
  • To purchase and take over the tea estate in Tripura from time to time and develop the same to carry on business in plantation, manufacture and sale of tea in local and auction market.
  • To take on lease and manage tea estate being fully satisfied about their economic viability for safeguarding the future of the industry, protecting the interests of workers and increase employment potential.
  • To rehabilitate, revive, modernise, manage, run, advice and assist in any other way of closed and uneconomic tea gardens.
  • To increase productivity of tea labourer.
  • To supply tea plants, cutting to the different R.D. Blocks and provide technical support to the small growers for raising tea nursery and tea plantation for more than 15 years. At present, services of three employees of corporation have placed in different R.D. Blocks for providing technical services to the small tea growers to improve their economical conditions.

The marketing strategy of this corporation for selling of packet and loose tea of this corporation in local markets as below:

For the last few years, the quality of made tea has been improved constantly by this corporation after giving due importance in choosing quality green tea leaves and maintain processing steps in factory. As a result, the demand of made tea produced by this corporation is going up day by day, to cater this ever going demand of made tea the following steps have been followed:

  • The TTDC Ltd. has its own four sales outlets through which packet and loose tea brand as ‘Tripurehswari Tea’ has been sold to customers in retail and whole sale quantity.
  • Besides, for selling bulk quantity of tea, whole sale fixable competitive rate has been fixed after considering the all factors as influenced by the market.
  • Recently with other government department, corporation and co-operative bodies etc. agreement/MoU are going to be signed for selling of packet tea through their respective outlets on commission basis for beneficial of both.

At last my important innovative conception is that, we have to search for root of the any subject/problem and this root identification with systematic monitoring will lead to a success in marketing which is the result of good relation among all. This is the theory of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas”, which we are following.

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