Ambuja Cements, a leading cement producer with pan-India presence and strong retail focus, had to face the challenges posed by demonetisation. However, with a proactive approach, the company could turn the tide.
In the wake of demonetisation, Ambuja Cements took the lead and launched a pan-India 'Go Cashless' campaign encouraging its business partners - retailers, contractors and masons - to adapt to cashless business transactions. The biggest challenge was identified as lack of knowledge. Around 800 field officers took up the task to reach out to 40,000 channel partners. They reached them directly through personal interactions, radio campaigns and WhatsApp messages.
The 'Go Cashless' campaign - aimed at helping Ambuja Cements' business partners conduct cashless transactions with ease - went live on 7th December 2016 to create awareness on various available cashless options, from swipe machines to banking services. Ambuja Cements tied up with ICICI Bank to launch an exclusive helpline to assist stakeholders open current accounts for regular business transactions. The traders were explained the benefits of opening a current account for business purposes.
With the campaign, Ambuja Cements notched another first to its credit. It became the first cement company to initiate a drive on cashless transactions. Post demonetisation, the construction community, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, was facing several challenges as it mostly deals in cash.
'Our company is committed to improving the quality of life of all our stakeholders,'said Managing Director and CEO Ajay Kapur. 'The 'Go Cashless' campaign was yet another endeavour empowering the construction community through knowledge transfer. We are successfully seeding innovative thinking at the grass-roots and bringing information and technology to the forefront of all our esteemed business partners. Just 300,000 messages added up to one pleasing fact: our partners were equipped to transact digitally. It was our people's 'I can' spirit that shaped a new way of conducting business,' said Kapur.
Ambuja Cements had, in the first 20 days since inception of the campaign, sent more than 10,00,000 text messages, 200,000 WhatsApp messages that included a series of short animated clips, and kick-started an educational radio campaign across 17 different stations in New Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
These initiatives helped reach out to over 42,000 partners (retailers, contractors and masons) across India and over 45,00,000 via radio. Meanwhile, all the company's dealers were already conducting cashless transactions.
Following the launch in early December, the first leg of the campaign witnessed a series of teaser text messages on problems faced by the cement community post demonetisation. The second leg launched in the second fortnight of December included broadcast of educational messages. The minute-long audio clips provided updates on different modes of cashless transactions via cheques, debit/credit cards and mobile payments (UPI app) in a simple manner. While the stakeholders were explained the different modes, they were guided to select one of the modes appropriate for their use.
In the near future, a few more similar initiatives will be launched by the company to further em¡power the construction community across India.
Information has been shared by Communication Dept. of Ambuja Cements Ltd.