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METRO Cash & Carry: The B2B Wholesale Giant


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In the past 18 years in India, the brand has put in a lot of effort towards listening and understanding the local customer needs and providing tailored solutions to the customers while continuing to sharpen its competitive edge by building on its customer trust and understanding, and the seamless customer experience it offers.

Through its ‘Smart Kirana’ program, METRO has helped over 2000 traditional kiranas transform their operation with modernization and digitalization solutions.

METRO Cash & Carry India Private Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of METRO AG Germany, is India’s largest organized wholesaler and food specialist. METRO Cash & Carry India was the first cash & carry player to commence operations in India in 2003 with the opening of its first wholesale distribution centre at Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru. The company currently operates 30 wholesale distribution centres under the brand ‘METRO Wholesale’ and has created over 15,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities across the country.

Championing the cause of Independent Businesses in India, METRO anchors over 3 million business customers in India and caters to over 5000 suppliers. In line with Govt’s Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for local vision, METRO has been supporting the local business eco-system in India. 99% of products that we sell at METRO are all locally sourced from MSMEs & local suppliers to support the indigenous manufacturer and supplier eco-system.

METRO initially took some time to find the right success formula in India; but with a focused approach, the company clocked the landmark achievement of turning profitable after 15years of operation in India in 2018. In the past 18 years in India, the brand has put in a lot of effort towards listening and understanding the local customer needs and providing tailored solutions to the customers. METRO’s competitive edge is its customer trust and understanding, and the seamless customer experience it offers.

Innovation Push

Champion for Independent Business: METRO’s purpose is to be ‘Champion for Independent Business’. Over the years, METRO has become the ‘Voice of Kiranas’ highlighting their core operational issues and interventions required for them to sustain in the modern retail landscape. METRO’s endeavor has been to fuel the entrepreneurial eco-system in the country. Through its ‘Smart Kirana’ program, METRO has helped over 2000 traditional kiranas transform their operation with modernization and digitalization solutions. The program helps educate the kiranas about planogram, inventory management, quality management, store remodelling along with pricing/promotions support, interest free credit solutions to optimize their working capital. Kiranas have seen huge value after witnessing 40-50 per cent growth in their sales along with increased footfall and improved cash flow. In essence, METRO provides value addition to kiranas on both supply and demand side.

Pandemic Pivot:

COVID-19 has been a black swan event which led to a fundamental disruption to business and supply chain across all industries. However, during this phase, METRO’s foremost priority was to ensure enough stock for its customers, especially the kirana customers.

As the pandemic hit, the company launched its ecommerce App- ‘METRO Wholesale App’ in April 2020 targeted towards its kirana and trader customers. Since the launch, the B2B app have received an overwhelming response from kirana customers with a 6x growth. Today, the e-commerce app contributes 16% of the overall sales. METRO’s Omni channel customers are shopping 10x vis-à-vis its offline or online only customers. Technology is playing a vital role in transforming the retail experience and today, kirana stores are more open to embrace technology and go digital versus a year ago.

Supply Chain Management: METRO India has implemented the latest global supply chain practices into play to ensure lowest cost multichannel operation to support competitive wholesale prices across its area of operation. The brand procures farm fresh and agricultural commodities mostly from source; follows stringent quality standards and offers top-quality produce and staples to their customers. It uses using GPS & TMS solutions, which enable its business customers to track their shipments even before delivery. As an organisation, METRO has transformed from a multi-specialist brick and mortar brand to a B2B Omni-channel player focused on kiranas.

Human Resource Policies: METRO India has implemented a performance-oriented culture with a strong customer focus. Its inclusive and performance-oriented workplace culture pivots around ‘People’ and ‘Purpose’. The company’s endeavor has been to help grow its people, to grow its business. Talent mobility is a big focus area to help provide multidimensional exposure to employees and create a talent pipeline. METRO’s ‘People first approach’ embraces not just thousands of its frontline employees, but encompasses millions of MSMEs, small traders, kirana customers associated with the company. Serving the business needs of millions of independent businesses in India, its ‘Purpose’ has been exquisitely internalized by the ‘People’ at METRO.

Future Plans

METRO is committed to its long-term sustainable business operations in India. The company is making every effort to steadily improve performance, including profitability in India.

The company enjoys a strong equity with the Kiranas and has seen strong growth in its kirana business despite the competition. The company continues to to expand its store and e-commerce footprint. Going forward, the company plans to add to its footprint of 30 stores with a mix of both small and big stores in the emerging markets of tier II and tier III cities. It also plans to leverage its existing supply chain and economies of scale by opening and operating in its stronghold clusters of Karnataka, AP & Telangana.

FACT FILE


Brand Name:
METRO Cash & Carry India
Launch Year:
2003 – First Cash & Carry in India
Parent Company:
METRO AG
No. of Wholesale Centers in India, as on 31st March 2022:
30
No. of Fruits & Vegetables Collection Centres:
5
No. of Wholesale Centers in India:
30 Distribution centers (Stores located in Bangalore (6), Hyderabad (4), Mumbai (2), Delhi-NCR (2) and one store each in Kolkata, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Zirakpur, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Lucknow, Meerut, Nasik, Ghaziabad, Tumakuru, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Guntur
Number of states present:
20
No. of Customers:
Over 3 million
Number of suppliers:
Over 5,000
SKU count in store:
Over 7,000 SKUs; First HACCP certified modern wholesaler in the country
Number of Employees:
Over 3,500 (over 15,000 direct & indirect employment opportunities created in India)

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