Improving supply delivery
How mapping innovations are helping improve the delivery of vital supplies in the COVID-19 pandemic
This is a story of collaboration and innovation at its best. Read how two Rise Mumbai members created a new way to map the supply of goods and services across India which can potentially help predict the needs of food suppliers during the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially testing centres and pharmacies too.
Mapping the consumer market in India
To work successfully in the Indian market and build sustainable growth, businesses require in-depth and comprehensive information on the key changes and trends in consumer behaviour as they emerge: what’s selling well, what’s selling slowly and consumer affinities with new products. All of this data needs to be geo-located so that consumer behaviour can be tied to precise locations. In this way, suppliers can understand the demand in existing stores and plan where new stores could be built. In a country the size of India, that’s a lot of data to analyse and map.
Unfortunately, the insights that companies might need to carry out this type of analysis aren’t available with today’s Postal Index Number (PIN) code (similar to a postcode in the UK or a ZIP code in the USA). PIN Codes are the standard way of describing locations in India and cover the whole country. However, individual PIN Codes cover too much territory to be useful and each one typically covers a large population with widely divergent consumer attributes. A more granular level of analysis is required.
GeoMarketeer is the brainchild of two of our Rise Mumbai members, Dhruva Rajan, CEO of Geospoc, and Rahoul Anders, CEO of MMS.IND. This tool helps solve the granularity problem and provides data that splits PIN Codes into cells, sometimes as small as individual buildings. It’s this, along with AI-powered analytics, that unlocks the potential in the data and provides insights that companies might find useful.
With its expertise in geospatial information systems and platform-building capabilities, Geospoc provides the cloud-based service on which GeoMarketeer’s maps and data are displayed, and MMS.IND provides the consumer and micro-market data that are overlaid on it.
The tool models the consumer profile of individual stores using factors such as:
- Lifestyle segmentation, categorising households into 12 groups
- Household income
- Types of expenditure (on food, FMCG products, transport and financial products)
- Drive-time characteristics
Using the digital maps in the tool, a user can load their chosen datasets filter the data to the desired use case (for example, by lifestyle segment) and start exploring by zooming in on any part of the country, down to street level.
Geomarketeer provides companies with global but fine-grained purchasing and supply insights. Individual neighbourhood blocks can be mapped and their spending patterns examined using a variety of filters such as consumer income, product purchase and lifestyle affinity. Superimposed with COVID-19 data and an organisation’s distribution networks, future challenges can be manoeuvred – for example, how to adapt supply chains, where goods of the right type and quantity are needed and which hotspots are likely to emerge.
CEO | MMS.IND
How micro-market analysis can help manage the COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 crisis is impacting us all. From a business perspective, companies are looking not just to sell their existing products through different channels, but also to develop entirely new products that solve issues created by COVID-19.
Rahoul and Dhruva realised that Geomarketeer could be extended to assist suppliers and governments by providing insights into how COVID-19 is affecting Indian consumers. They’ve recently built a COVID-19 impact tool that can be used for supply chain optimisation and product demand forecasts so that companies can react not only during the current lockdown period in India, but also, crucially, when restrictions are lifted and suppliers might see a surge in demand.
In the new tool, a company's distribution network is added to the standard consumer data used in Geomarketeer, allowing before-and-after supply and sale scenarios to be played out. Shifts in consumer-product affinities within detailed demographic segments become visible and could potentially demonstrate the impacts of COVID-19.
Use cases have extended beyond store supplies. Pharmaceutical companies can use the tool to track the demand for vital drugs at pharmacies with greater precision. The effect on the most vulnerable in the population (for example, those over 65 years old living in rural locations) can be examined. As Coronavirus testing centres are set up, it could even be used to forecast the demand in those locations too.
In financial services, population income segments and occupational descriptors can be mapped against COVID-19 cases and city containment zones to help banks identify customers who may need greater support.
In commerce, a highly localised picture can be drawn across the whole subcontinent of micro-economies restarting after the COVID-19 pandemic to help companies identify those markets that are mostly likely to bounce back quickly and that need serving first.
COVID-19 impact map for Mumbai identifies locations most impacted by the disease and by monthly household income. COVID-19 data is that published by Bombay Municipal Corporation on 5 April 2020.
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