A milk vendor from the small town of Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh has made a long journey to running his own successful supermarket enterprise today. And he says it’s all thanks to the training he received at the Parivartan programme for retailers.

In a market that has been bombarded with international franchises and supermarkets, small grocery retailers have suffered a major setback, making them fearful of modern trade and techniques. Coca-Cola’s ‘Parivartan’ project was launched in 2007 to train retailers in enhancing their business management skills. Parivartan means change in Hindi, the difference that Coca-Cola is looking to make with its initiative.

Based on a survey of over 7000 retailers, this initiative was modelled on the four most important needs of the retailers. These needs included knowledge on how to manage customers, how to improve stocks, how to make their shops better and how to manage finances in the best way possible.

Parivartan imparts this education to empower retailers in an engaging way. The training is conducted by expert certified trainers who, with the aid of interesting content and relatable examples from daily lives, impart knowledge on how to make businesses successful. The presentation is followed by a video film that’s entertaining and relatable for the retailers.

“The Parivartan programme taught me how to better manage the cooling equipment, ensure cleanliness at my shop and being polite to all my customers. The programme has helped me identify changes I can bring about in myselfand my shop in order to improve my business. The trainers were very good and I thank Coca-Cola for this experience,” says Rajwinder Kaur, a woman retailer from Amritsar.

Understanding the retailers’ hectic lives, the project also launched an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) programme in 2013 to make the dissemination of information easier, more convenient and even more engaging. The content was done in an interesting manner in the form of conversations between fictional film characters like Gabbar Singh. This is followed by a quiz at the end, where the retailers are asked to answer with keys. They are also rewarded with free phone talk time if they answer correctly.

The project has impacted the lives of over 3 lakh small grocery retailers including 39,097 women retailers and 9,569 eating and drinking retailers across India. This programme hasn’t just touched them professionally but also personally.

Retailers are now hungry to learn more and are ready for the future.