Pushcarts to get a brand name soon

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HYDERABAD: If big time companies like Reliance, Spencer's and Heritage have entered the retail business and multi-national giants like Tesco and Wal-Mart waiting to occupy vast spaces, ITC Ltd. has decided to chart out a different course.

Though the Kolkata-based company has been one of the first big time companies to enter into procuring and selling various fruits and vegetables under its brand name `Choupal Fresh', it now wants to enter into pushcart vending! And the national launch would be from the city!

ITC Ltd. has sought permission from the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad to deploy up to 300 pushcarts in the streets of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. These pushcarts are to sell quality fruits and vegetables at competitive prices to consumers.

The firm's International Business Division is to source the produce directly from farmers in adjoining districts.

Unemployed youth

A senior official of ITC said the prospective vendors would be selected from among the poor unemployed youth. Existing pushcarts would be used initially and later specially designed carts with the company's insignia would be deployed.

The vendors will be trained by the company in `customer relations' -- how to talk to the customers and also on the nutritive value of the goods. In fact, they will be carrying a booklet on the nutrition aspects. "Fixed and uniform pricing, fresh quality fruits and vegetables and electronic tamperproof weighing are going to be our unique selling propositions. The prices will be on a par or even below any existing outlet," said an official.

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