Cateen Stores Department
हिन्दी Related Site  
Search Product Search
Origin | Example of Dedication | Pioneering Retail Revolution | Activities over the years | CSD at a Glance | Growth | Clientele | Areas of Improvement | Future Plans
Click to view a "Movie on CSD"


During World War II, in order to manage the distribution system in far flung areas and ensure basic necessities reached the troops deployed in the Eastern Sector, a number of Canteen Retail Bulk Issue Depots (CRBIDs) were opened at Rangoon, Kayikto (Southern Burma), Imphal, Chittagong and Dhaka. These CRBIDs were managed by Army and Civilian staff and were under the administrative and financial control of the Head Office at Bombay.

In 1942, Shri N K Sule, a senior staff of CSD was posted as the Commanding Officer of CRBID in Kayikto. When Burma fell to the Japanese, CSD Officers and staff were evacuated to India via Assam. They had to leave all Departmental assets and stores at Rangoon and Kayikto. But in a rare gesture of bravery, Shri N K Sule succeeded in carrying all the cash receipts of the field cashiers, amounting to Rs. 1.5 lakhs, to Bombay. This amount may appear insignificant in today's context but 65 years ago it was a massive sum of money. An exceptional act of bravery and dedication honesty to one’s work! Later in 1943, Shri N K Sule, was promoted to the post of Indian Commissioned Officer (ICO) and was posted to CRBID.

COMMENCEMENT OF OPERATION AT BOMBAYCommencement of Operation at Bombay

Canteen Stores Department (CSD) as arm of the Ministry of Defence shifted its operation to Bombay and initially functioned from Rose Building behind Reserve Bank of India which was later shifted to Amar Building on Sir Phiroz Shah Mehta Road Colaba during the early 1940s. Till 1954, CSD functioned in these locations. After 1954, in view of the constant expanding operations, present Head Office housed at ADELPHI building was purchased by CSD for Rs 11,62,000. This building was constructed on the land owned by Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto the father of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the formar Prime Minister of Pakistan, who sold the land to M/s Seervais on 11 Oct 1940. The archives also reveal that Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto had taken this land from the Governor General in Council.

CCSD had commenced its operation with 4 depots located at Bombay (Now Mumbai), Calcutta (Now Kolkata), Bangalore, and Delhi (Murad Nagar). In order to cater to the ever increasing need for canteen services in the spirit of rendering service and extend intimate support to the Jawan so as to ensure uninterrupted supplies, quick and frequent changes were effected and new area depots opened.

Depot in Delhi
Depot in Lucknow
Depot in LEH

During 1950s Pathankot and Srinagar.
During 1960s Dimapur, Madras (Now Chennai), Secunderabad, Jalandhar, Lucknow, Jabalpur, Agra, Bareilly.
During 1970s Leh, Udampur, Baghdogra, Narangi (Gouhati), Ambala.
During 1980s Masimpur(Silchar), Missamari, Dehu Road(Poona) (Now Khadki), Vizag, Jaipur, Ramgarh, Jhansi (Now closed).
During 1990s Jammu (B D Bari), Ahmedabad, Port Blair, Bhatinda, Meerat.
During 2000s Bikaner, Dehradun, Kochi, hissar.


Consequent to the partition of India, the activities of CSD were divided as CSD (India) and CSD (Pakistan). Accordingly, till 1977 CSD (India) functioned as a Public sector. However, after 1977 CSD was christened as full fledged Department of Government of India thereby all rules and regulations formulated by the Government were adopted. The activities of the CSD are subject of audit scrutiny at periodical intervals. Thus finances of the CSD were brought under the purview of the Consolidated Fund of India. However, the CSD continue to be administered on commercial lines to fulfill its motto.

The Mission and Visions of CSD are :

To meet the aspirations of Armed Forces fraternity by making available latest and quality consumer products at a cheaper rate on All India basis.

To achieve highest level of consumer satisfaction by adopting pragmatic and proactive strategies to optimally utilize and develop human, infrastructure, material and financial resources of the Canteen Stores Department to withstand the dynamics of emerging economic realities of modern India.


In line with the aforesaid mission of CSD, various milestones were achieved to synchronise with the aspirations of the Armed Forces clientale.

1980s CSD succeeded in convincing Manufacturers of 2 wheelers for ‘of the shelf delivery’ thereby wiping out the waiting period of customers. CSD was the first to ensure prompt delivery of M/s Bajaj 2 wheelers which were on waiting list for many years.

During early 1980s CSD inducted MARUTI SUZUKI CARS in inventory and thus 4 wheelers were also available for Armed Forces Officers through various CSD Depots. Special concessions with M/s Maruti Suzuki Ltd were negotiated for ‘of the shelf ‘delivery of CARs despite waiting period in civil market.

In depth internal studies were carried out by external armed forces institutions on the following issues, to enable CSD to keep pace with rapid changes in the civil market.

  • Study on all aspects of Inventory Management in CSD to fulfill the aspirations of the clientele.
  • Study on quality control aspects in CSD.
  • Study on futuristic growth of CSD and anticipated changes including Modern trade formats (This was envisaged by CSD in late 1980s when such formats in civil market was unknown).

Consequent to the introduction of VAT replacing Sales Tax, CSD pursued with various Central and State authorities to re introduce the concessions, in the new VAT regime. The effort was fruitful and the Armed Forces clientele who were deployed in defending the nation in inhospitable terrain were benefited.


CSD also caught the attention of various foreign countries, due to its performance in Retail Management for over 6 decades. Thus, couple of foreign delegations visited CSD Head Office at Mumbai to understand the working apparently to start a similar organization in their countries.

Sri Lankan delegations during 2005
Tanzanian delegation during 2009
Tanzanian delegation during 2009
Sri Lankan delegations during 2005
Tanzanian delegation during 2009
Tanzanian delegation during 2009

Maj Gen SP Rai, Chairman, Board of Administration, GM, Canteen Stores Department with Tanzanian Delegates during their visit to the Department in Jun 2009.

Similarly, a team from Ministry of Home Affairs also visited CSD Head Office at Mumbai during 2004 for creating a similar facility for the police organizations under them. Parliamentary Delegation has also been evaluating the performance of CSD time to time. The recent evaluation was during 2007.

Ministry of Home Affairs
Parliamentary Delegation
Parliamentary Delegation evaluating CSD performance in 2007.