A woman retailer, who owns a small kirana shop, understands that each day’s business is important. But with the emergence of supermarkets, store chains and now even online grocery stores, business had been suffering every day. Not only were these women struggling to cope with the tricks of modern trade but their families too were suffering from a steady decline in income.

There’s no doubt that there exists a strong correlation between women’s empowerment and the national GDP growth, business growth, environmental sustainability and improved human health. Women already are the most dynamic and fastest-growing economic force in the world today. Coca-Cola India believes that investing in women makes social as well as business sense.

This is the reason Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. launched ‘Pragati,’ a retail training program that helps engage, motivate, train and empower prospective women retailers in rural India to be a part of the economic upswing in India.

The Pragati program is focused on building the retailing capabilities of women entrepreneurs by providing training, product knowledge and business start-up support to women retailers. The program is conducted by HCCBPL, mostly in bottling plants in remote parts of rural India. Over 13,000 women have been supported under this programme so far.

Women retailers across the country are indeed happy to be receiving this training and expertise. “It (the training) has been very useful and has provided us an opportunity to learn new things. We are thankful to Coca-Cola India for thinking about us and training us for free. We feel very happy and we will tell other women about this program as well,” says one of the participants of the programme.