The gains from the Future Group assuming control of the public distribution system (PDS) and ration shops in Rajasthan are many. First, organised management of the ration shops—to be called Annapurna Bhandar—will help curtail leakages that happen with unorganised and highly localised agents running individual ration shops. More important, as per the new partnership, the ration shops will stock a wide range of household items, including FMCG products, that will be sold at discounted prices in the 5,000 such outlets in the state. This means PDS beneficiaries will be able to purchase necessities other than just grains, sugar and kerosene at affordable rates. The tie-up could also see more efficient use of the ration shop space. Given the stores mostly lay idle for a larger part of the month, except for the designated days of sale of PDS item, the usage of the shops is quite uneconomic. With more products on the shelves, these could see increased usage, perhaps even all through the month.
For Future, the partnership means a phenomenal increase in reach—apart from private labels from other manufacturers, the retail chain can also put its own product brands on display—with so much realty made available to it. If the model were to prove successful, Future could have a template for such partnerships in other states, too.