Sanjay Kaul, Chairman, Impact Group of Companies, has launched a new start-up named ‘Last Mile Channel Enhancement (LMCE)’, a tech-enabled b2b aggregator for brands keen to foray into the rural market.
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.
The other LMCE founding members include Sankalp Potbhare, Principal Advisor and Board Member; Sanjay Panigrahi, Key Advisor Strategy and 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 and 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 the last 25 years and envisions LMCE to be a major disruptor in this space, thereby creating India’s largest platform for sales, distribution and market development.
Potbhare was associated with The Kraft Heinz Co South as Chief Commercial Officer Asia South Asia and formerly as MD of The Kraft Heinz Co South-Asia. With over 16 years of rich industry experience across brands such as Pepsico and 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 and building brands such as Pidilite, Amul, Srei-Sahaj in the rural segment
Pradeep has over 25 years of rich experience in sales and distribution strategy development across multiple brands such as Perfetti Van Melle, Ferrero, Dabur and Cargill India.
Nikhil 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 and CEO, LMCE, and Chairman, Impact Group, said, “We have a huge opportunity at hand and tech, data, and prioritisation remains the core offerings of LMCE. We are 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 and distribution but will also drive value and volume growth for our clients.”
Potbhare said, “Most companies recognise 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 and village of their choice! This highway is powered by digital but also reinforced by physical presence.”
Sanjay Panigrahi said, “The 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 to reach that ubiquitous rural potential!”
Pradeep said, “The rural market has changed and evolved faster than most of marketers ever imagined. Increased media exposure, rising incomes, continuous government spending on infrastructure has fuelled 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.”
Nikhil said, “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."