Canteen Stores Department (CSD) History
SERVICE TO SERVICES
The Canteen Stores Department, CSD as it is commonly referred to, was created to provide ‘easy access to quality products of daily use, at prices less than market rates’ to the soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families.
Today, because of the surging aspirations of Service personnel and their families and the media exposure to the improving standards of living in our country, the CSD provides a range of quality branded and unbranded products from shoe brushes to microwave ovens and cooking oil to luxury cars. The portfolio has grown from just a few items of daily use in 1948 (when the Department was created) to over four thousand products today. Information on all these products and brands is available on this web site through a “know-all” Search Engine for the benefit of the consumer.
The governing body of the Canteen Services in India is the Board of Control for Canteen Services (BOCCS) which is headed by Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM) and has as members the Defence Secretary, Secretary Defence (Finance), the Quarter Master General (QMG), COP (Naval HQ), AOA (Air HQ). The Board is assisted by an Executive Committee of BOCCS while the day to day management of CSD is controlled by the General Manager CSD who is ex-officio Chairman of the Board of Administration. The General Manager (of the rank of Major General) is assisted by two Joint General Managers, seven Deputy General Managers, 18 Assistant General Managers , 5 Regional Managers and 34 Area (Depot) Managers and other Officers. Click here to know more about the three tier Management of CSD »
Not for Profit
CSD like other chains has adopted best trade practices in all aspects of it’s operations but what distinguishes the Department from any and all other chains is that it is not driven by the profit motive!
CSD’s trading operation is worked around seven basic product Groups.
Group I – Toiletries
Group II – Household Requisites
Group III – General Use Items
Group IV – Watches and Stationery
Group V – Liquor
Group VI – Food & Medicinal Items
Group VII – 4 Wheelers, 2 Wheelers & White goods.
While all these products are procured based on demand from URCs, products in Group VII cannot be stored at URCs and neither can they be shelved! For this reason, CSD procures these items from the trade on behalf of the end user “Against Firm Demand” (AFD).
The Department works closely with more than 500 suppliers across the country for supply of the range of products seen on URC shelves and at select trade outlets (in the case of “AFD”). They are represented by leading multinationals, large Indian companies and many small manufacturers, including start-ups of ex-servicemen.
In order to achieve the best price for consumers, CSD encourages competition among suppliers.
“Adelphi”, Head Office of CSD
The Department has 34 depots strategically located across India. This is the core strength of the CSD, which puts its operation in close proximity to the thousands of URCs it has mandated to serve. These Depots are the hub of the CSD chain.
Earlier, all supplies to these Depots were routed through the Base Depot in Mumbai, however, due to the expansion of the operation, suppliers are now given the option to supply locally to Depots closest to their manufacturing/supply centres. This has reduced lead time and improved overall operation of the Department.
The “power centre” of CSD is Adelphi, a six storey structure in the commercial and financial centre of Mumbai alongside the famous Churchgate Station. Adelphi houses the office of the Chairman Board of Administration and General Manager of CSD and all leading functional departments including:
• Management Services
• Secretariat Branch
• Finance & Accounts
• Personnel & Administration
• Electronic Data Processing
• Stores Branch (GS, LIF and AFD sections)
During the past seven decades, the Department has expanded vertically and horizontally in response to the needs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, to meet the growing aspirations of troops, ex-servicemen and their families. These captive customers are privileged in a very special way: CSD ensures that the entire portfolio of products reaches them wherever they are and that these products are available at a uniform price across the network.
In recent years the Department has introduced high levels of digitization in operations to ensure efficient inventory management and to achieve maximum consumer satisfaction.
The Department continues to strive to increase the efficiency of all existing systems with a view to reduce costs across the organization, improve response time for new product introductions and to hasten the pace of deliveries to local depots and ultimately to URCs. CSD believes that this is the best way to ensure that the customer gets quality goods at the right time and the right place.