'Gramin Suvidha Kendra': MCX's Corporate Social Opportunity Approach to Inclusive Growth

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This case study was compiled from primary sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation.

Case Details:


Case Code : BECG109 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Business Ethics / Sustainability / Business Strategy
Case Length : 26 Pages
Period : 2006-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd.
Industry : e-commerce
Countries : India


This case study is about the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX), an electronic multi commodity futures exchange based in Mumbai, India, and its corporate social responsibility initiative - Gramin Suvidha Kendra (GSK). Through the GSK initiative, which began in 2006, MCX sought to use its domain strengths to make India's process of economic growth more inclusive by providing small and marginal farmers with a level playing field and new opportunities in the domain of agricultural marketing, risk management, and finance. The company adopted a proactive approach to CSR and viewed these as 'Corporate Social Opportunities' (CSO). The team at MCX felt that adopting such an approach was important for corporate sustainability.

It believed in engaging in activities that were in alignment with the core business of the organization. GSK was one such initiative that it took up in underserved rural communities to simultaneously improve the lot of the small and marginal farmers while guaranteeing long-term project sustainability, scalability, as well as the business interests of MCX and its collaboration partners.

GSK was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project with India Post, the Indian government's postal department. Through this platform, MCX provided various services to the farmers, including giving price/market information, addressing technical queries regarding farming, providing scientific warehousing facilities, issuing warehouse receipts, and providing access to finance, quality agri and non-agri inputs, and bank loans. MCX entered into partnerships with various organizations to bring these services under a single window to benefit the target audience. By 2009, GSK had evolved into a promising model. From being a mere platform to disseminate price information, it had evolved into a revenue generating model. The challenge before Sarita Bahl, Vice President (CSO), MCX, and her team, lay in carrying forward the initiative and developing it into a fully self-sufficient model by 2012.


Study MCX's 'Gramin Suvidha Kendra' model and discuss and debate whether the model is sustainable and capable of driving inclusive growth.

Study MCX's 'Corporate Social Opportunities' approach and how it differs from the CSR approaches of other companies.

Understand the issues and challenges in building a sustainable model aimed at catering to the needs of the rural/Bottom of the Pyramid population while addressing some of their problems.

Understand the issues and challenges in a public-private partnership.

Identify the challenges faced by the MCX team with regard to GSK and explore ways in which the model can be evolved so that it attains self-sufficiency


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The Problem and the Opportunity 4
Gramin Suvidha Kendra - The Village Convenience Center 5
GSK Operating Model and Services 7
The Relationship with India Post 10
Initial Results 12
Ensuring Sustainability 14
The Road Ahead 15
Exhibits 17


Corporate social responsibility, Corporate social opportunity, Sustainable model, Sustainable development, Inclusive growth, Bottom of the Pyramid, Public-Private partnership, Rural consumers, Price information, Spot trading, Gramin Suvidha Kendra, MCX

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