C. Narayanaswamy

My name is Dr. C. Narayanaswamy, and I represent IFFCO India, the world’s largest cooperative, which started 55 years ago with just 57 cooperatives and a share capital of 6 lakh (roughly $7,500). Today, IFCO has expanded significantly, connecting with 36,000 cooperatives and amassing a share capital of over 650 crores (approximately $81.25 million), with business operations exceeding 60,000 crores (about $7.5 billion). Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Uday Shankar Awasthi and his team, IFCO has thrived, adopting multiple cooperative digital platforms and ensuring that cooperative principles guide our policy frameworks. We are digitally linked with 36,000 cooperatives, consistently working to enhance the livelihoods of the farming community and to foster the development of cooperatives across India.

Cooperative principles—emphasizing membership, capacity building, and mutual benefits—are crucial as they significantly contribute to the digital transformation and empowerment of rural India. These principles are fundamental for policymakers when designing regulatory frameworks, helping to drive the digitalization of cooperatives and the broader transformation of rural areas. Programs like IT for Change and the Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC) are instrumental in aiding policymakers to integrate these principles effectively, ensuring a robust and inclusive digital future for India’s rural communities.