Metro Cash & Carry is Well Established in India

Headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, Metro Cash and Carry launched its business-to-business wholesale concept in India in 2003. The company is a one-stop solution for business customers such as mom and pop grocery stores, small retailers, hotels, restaurants and caterers, and offices.

Sanjay Kumar, journalist for IndiaRetailing, spoke to managing director and CEO of Metro Cash & Carry India, Arvind Mediratta regarding many aspects of the company’s functions in India.

Metro Cash and Carry MD and CEO Arvind Mediratta

Arvind Mediratta

Excerpts from the interview:

 On the opportunities and challenges of doing business in India

Mediratta: The Indian market is extensive and diverse. This provides us with both opportunities and challenges. In India, what works in the north will not work in the south because of the penetration of regional and local brands. We have to localize according to the market.

On expanding the company’s footprint

Mediratta: Since the organized wholesale market in India is growing at an even higher rate than modern retail, there is no dearth of opportunities in the country. Recently, we revamped our India operations and split it into North-East and South-West, to sharpen our regional focus. We will continue with our focus on these markets while also keeping an eye on emerging markets in Tier II and III cities. A cluster approach to markets is the best way to grow the business.

On customizing solutions and services to serve the diverse needs of specific regions

Mediratta: We have a simple strategy to suit diverse needs – we listen to our customers. Goods are sourced locally and are tailor-made to meet the specific demands of the region. We are constantly engaged in customer interaction to ensure that we understand the pulse of the market and provide products and services accordingly.

On the potential for growth of big box retailers like Metro in India

Mediratta: India has been growing at the fastest pace in its economic history. The growth potential has increased manifold. The Government’s decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in food retail is a welcome step. The infrastructure and supply chain is improving and the Internet has demolished the aspiration lag between big and small cities. The Indian retail and wholesale market offers great potential and bright prospects for international and domestic players.

On Metro’s retail ecosystem

Mediratta: Metro Cash & Carry is the country’s first HACCP-certified wholesale retailer. We ensure that all our 23 stores’ in-store activities, as also procedures involving sourcing, supply chain, stocking, and point of sale comply with the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. All our suppliers are given systematic training on meeting customer requirements in terms of food quality, safety and traceability.

Fair prices and guaranteed and transparent payments are credited directly into a farmer’s account in less than a day. Metro regularly conducts Trader Support and Partnership programs. We share best practices with small grocers in planogramming, assortment planning, store layout and inventory planning to improve their profitability.

On the next big change that is coming in retail

Mediratta: Whether online or offline, buying and selling cannot afford to remain mono-channel any longer. Only those players can envision a long and rewarding future who are able to fold into the Omnichannel approach.

I foresee a huge proliferation in the number of categories and sub-categories with customers becoming more and more experimental.
a) Health & Wellness: Organic food, health supplements, fitness equipment, apparel and personal care products
b) Experience: Media, travel, entertainment, home, gaming, sports and luxury categories
c) Staying Connected: Highly integrated smart homes, smart kitchens, telecom, transportation and IT products
d) A Fair World: Socially, environmentally, and ethically fair products such as cage-free eggs and vegan products

On the difference between 0perations in India vis-a-vis the rest of the world

Mediratta: The Indian market is very different from the other countries where Metro operates in. To compete in a fiercely competitive market with a high real estate cost and a Maximum Retail Price regime requires one to be very nimble and cost efficient. We learned our lessons in the Indian market very early and started adapting ourselves to suit the customer needs.

June 10, 2017   No Comments

Mercedes-Benz Reduces Prices in India

German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz is reducing the price of its cars for the whole month of June in India. The price reduction will range from $2,170  on the CLA sedan to $10,850  on its Maybach S 500.

The company seeks to pass on the benefits of the new tax rate under GST due to be implemented on July 1, to its customers. However, in case GST is deferred, the company said it would hold the current  prices reports Firstpost.

Mercedes-Benz-New-E-Class--2

Mercedes-Benz India managing director and CEO Roland Folger said, “We now know more in details what taxes are going to be in various states. So we have decided to compensate the difference between the current and post GST prices for our entire Made in India range. Our decision to go ahead and reduce the price is also a reflection of our confidence in this government.”

Per GST rates, large luxury cars and SUVs with engine capacity of over 1.5 liters attract a 15 percent “cess” over and above peak rate of 28 percent, bringing down the overall tax incidence compared to the present of about 50 percent.

June 10, 2017   No Comments

Porsche Unit Partners with India’s Invilogic Software

Germany headquartered MHP, in which Porsche holds an 81.8% stake, entered into its first global partnership with Hyderabad, India-based design automation startup Invilogic Software and its German arm, ENIT Invilogic GmbH.

The partnership will help integrate design automation technology to automate product development with a seamless integration into Computer Aided Design, Product Lifecycle Management and Enterprise IT tools, reports the Times of India.

Michael Kirchgassner, head of R&D transformation at MHP said, “We believe Invilogic’s design automation capabilities, both in India and Germany, will complement our growth and customer consulting strategy across markets and industries.”

MHP
Siddharth Durairajan, CEO, Invilogic Software,  said that the company had invested $1.5 million on product development programs in India in the last 36 months, and will continue to invest in growing its software services research and development capabilities in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Germany. Currently, the company has a portfolio of 38 products and aims to add 10 more in the next 2 years.

June 5, 2017   No Comments

Amazon Launches Fire TV in India

Amazon launched its Fire TV stick in India  with Amazon’s Prime Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani and Amazon Fire TV vice president Marc Whitten at the launch. India is the fifth country where the device becomes available after the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan.

Priced at $62, the Fire Stick stick comes pre-loaded with  Amazon Prime Video and rival platforms, such as Netflix, Fox India’s Star network-owned Hotstar, Viacom18’s Voot and Indian film major Eros International’s ErosNow, among others. Additionally, the device offers access to YouTube, various gaming apps and more, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote

Whitten said, “Fire TV Stick also offers data monitoring and other features to help customers in India get the most from their data plan and stream more content using less bandwidth.”

 

 

April 26, 2017   No Comments

Modi to Visit USA to Meet President Trump Soon

United States National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in the third week of April setting the stage for a bilateral visit by India’s Prime Minister in the next few months, possibly as early as June.

US and India Flags

Trump and Modi will meet anyway in early July during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. However, both Indian and American government sources confirmed the possibility that Modi may travel to the U.S. for a stand-alone bilateral visit in June or July, reports the Indian Express.

April 20, 2017   No Comments