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New tech start-up to enable brands tap rural markets

By Retail4Growth Team | April 14, 2021

The new venture, Last Mile Channel Enhancement launched by Sanjay Kaul, Chairman of Impact Group of Companies, is a tech-enabled b-2-b aggregator that will cater to brands’ last mile challenges.

Sanjay Kaul, Chairman, Impact Group of Companies, has launched a new startup - Last Mile Channel Enhancement (LMCE) - a tech-enabled b-2-b aggregator for brands keen to foray into the rural market. Last Mile Channel Enhancement (LMCE), as the name suggests, solves the last mile challenges for the brands. The company has been built on three core fundamentals - Where to Play, How to Play and Digital Disruption across the value chain, says the company statement. The other LMCE founding members include:  Sankalp Potbhare - Principal Advisor & Board Member; Sanjay Panigrahi, Key Advisor Strategy & Growth; Pradeep Kaul, Director, and Nikhil Kaul – COO.

LMCE has also developed an in-house mobile application, Xpand, to serve its clients better. The self-learning app analyses, predicts & recommends to brands, distributors and local kirana stores based on the data collected from 2.5 lakh rural stores. It will help key stakeholders in the rural ecosystem plan their annual sales, marketing and distribution strategy. The user interface has been purposefully designed keeping the rural audiences in mind.

Sanjay Kaul has been instrumental in driving growth for brands across rural India for last 25 years  & envisions LMCE to be a major disruptor in this space thereby creating India’s largest platform for sales, distribution and market development.

Sankalp Potbhare was associated with The Kraft Heinz Co South as Chief Commercial Officer Asia South Asia and formerly as MD The Kraft Heinz Co South - Asia. With over 16 years of rich industry experience across brands such as – Pepsico & RB  Potbhare has a strong understanding of markets such as India, China and South East Asia.

Sanjay Panigrahi has over three decades of experience in creating & building brands such as Pidilite, Amul, Srei- Sahaj, in the rural segment 

Pradeep Kaul has over 25 years of rich experience in sales & distribution strategy development across multiple brands such as Perfetti Van Melle, Ferrero, Dabur &  Cargill India. 

Nikhil Kaul has been at Impact Communications for over last five years and has been driving its last mile vertical. He developed a strong GTM strategy for brands such as - Reckitt, Apollo Tyres, Tata Tiscon, Signify, and DS Group and will be driving the operations at LMCE. Nikhil has over 20 years of experience. 

Together the team brings a cumulative experience of 100+ years in this domain.

Sanjay Kaul, Founder & CEO, LMCE, & Chairman, Impact Group, says, “We have a huge opportunity at hand and tech, data, and prioritization remain the core offerings of LMCE. We are also glad that some of our key clients have shown their trust in our new venture and have been a part of the LMCE since the beginning. Our offerings will not be limited to sales & distribution but will also drive value and volume growth for our clients.”

Sankalp Potbhare, says, “Most companies recognize that the next big unlock of India's potential comes from tier -3 towns and villages. They have been trying for years to take their brands to the deepest parts of India but the cost to serve and infrastructure has held them back. I am really proud and happy to share that now LMCE has created a highway on which brands can drive down to the town & village of their choice! This highway is powered by digital but also reinforced by physical presence..”

Sanjay Panigrahi says, “Rural market is up for a new game. Basically, three things - Rising incomes of consumers with aspirations, continued increase in government spends year-after-year, and vast improvement in infra be it digital, road conditions, or electrification. Having said that it is the scientific and intelligent marketing, business development and channel solutions backed by technology as the driver, with rigorous data mining, sharper planning and the most important, excellence in execution, this may be the Last Mile solution Brands might be looking for them to reach that ubiquitous Rural potential!”  

Says Pradeep Kaul, “Rural market has changed and evolved faster than most of marketers ever imagined. Increased media exposure, rising incomes, continuous government spending on infrastructure has fueled the aspirations of the rural populace. So, companies need to take a plunge now. At LMCE, we all are collaborating to curate a richer rural journey.”

“Rural has bigger potential than anyone’s imagination in the boardroom. While it has been an engine driver for the country’s economic growth for years, I still believe that together we have only been able to scratch the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge untapped potential in the region, which is exponentially growing every year. With LMCE we endeavour to take companies to 1 million stores in the rural landscape by the end of 2022. We are in this to win rural not to flirt with it," says Nikhil Kaul

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