Shimla: If organic products are the latest fascination for city residents, Himachal has gone a step ahead to offer a ‘naturally pahari’ experience. The first such outlet, named Naturally Pahari, became functional in December last year and has been doing great business. Situated on the prime tourist gateway, the Chandigarh-Kasauli-Shimla highway, which makes it well placed to catch the tourist flow to Shimla and Kasauli during the tourist season, the outlet is offering a number of products including cereals, herbs and handicrafts.
Initiated by Lok Vigyan Kendra, a Palampur based NGO, Naturally Pahari is part of a larger project aimed at creating business development services (BDS) for producer oriented organizations in the state. “The motive behind setting up Naturally Pahari, besides making upfront sales, is also to showcase the best products from the producers for attracting bulk purchasers,” says Rahul Saxena of LVK.
The Naturally Pahari effort, providing services to different enterprises/producers, therefore is planned to be a launch-pad for the establishment of a business model based on a network of local producers and intermediate service providers. As the producers gain confidence and strength to supply larger orders and adhere to quality standards, their links with other mainstream channels of sales would also facilitated. The outlet is currently selling products from Vikalp, Samridhi, Aritsans, Vasundhara, Muse, K2crafts and a few other self-help groups.
“Since with most of these enterprises delivering consistent quality and quantities is still a challenge, the project team has worked out with the representatives of the enterprises, systems of quality control that are being followed for the products being supplied to LVK for sales. This is preparing the enterprises to gear up their internal quality control mechanisms for supply to a more quality conscious market. Once they are sure of the quality and supply aspects of the products, they would be in a better position to negotiate terms with the goods distributors than they can now. The packaging, labeling and the accessories used have also been improved wherever needed,” says Rahul.
LVK is also running two other such stores – Chamba and Gaggal (Kangra) – through franchisees on a commission basis since the October, 2006.