Following the announcement of a new agreement, Connect India is now a UPS authorized shipping outlet that is expected to connect customers in semi-urban and rural regions in India with the rest of world. The service is due to link UPS’s global network with Connect India’s last-mile logistics capabilities in the country. Customers in remote locations are expected to be able to book international shipments through Connect India Centres which will, in turn, make use of UPS’s global shipping services.
Connect India currently operates through a network of common service centres which includes Common Services Centres e-Governance Services India Ltd (CSC e SPV) and Connect India Centres. Together they form a last-mile delivery network covering more than 50 cities, 650 district towns and 8000 small towns across the country. According to Connect India, the company’s vision is to eventually cover about 25,000 pin codes and establish 50,000 Connect India Centres over the next three years.
With this alliance UPS expects to further expand its presence beyond the metros and urban centres in India. The Connect India Centres are expected to provide customers with access to a full range of international shipping options, including packaging and labelling. The centres are also due to accept prepaid, drop-off packages processed online at ups.com.
Mark Martyn-Fisher, Managing Director of UPS India, said, “The growing cross-border market in India and the renewed focus on boosting exports of indigenous products presents an opportunity to connect rural communities direct to an international delivery network,” adding “Our alliance with Connect India is invaluable in opening new markets for the budding entrepreneur and SME company networks that need a reliable, convenient logistics system in order to survive and flourish.”
L. R. Sridhar, Founder and CEO of Connect India said, “We aim to become the drop-box for all domestic, international and banking needs in India. This will entail, first and foremost, evaluating possible business models and riding the wave of mobile internet connectivity to create a relevant marketplace platform for rural India. Even as we explore new partnerships to improve our last-mile distribution capabilities, being UPS’s Authorized Shipping Outlet will open up a whole new international market for our customers.”
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