Need for change in mindset towards retail — asserts head of supply chain at Metro

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With Indian retail expected to grow by 9.5 per cent annually and organised retail getting a five per cent share of the market, it becomes imperative that a change is heralded in the mindset of the people towards this sector, in the opinion of an official from German-based global wholesale retailer Metro Cash & Carry.

“There is need for the mindset of the people in India to be changed towards retail sector, especially in regard to fruits and vegetables,” asserted Munro Manaccheni, head of Supply Chain at Metro Cash & Carry.

Metro Group is today the third largest trading and retailing group in the world. The company employs over 250,000 staff in 30 countries. In 2005 Metro Group had generated sales of over €55.7 billion; and 53 per cent of total sales came from outside Germany.

Talking to Indiaretailing on the sidelines of the two-day conference organised by FICCI on “Winning with Intelligent Supply Chains”, Manaccheni said, “We too need to have a deep understanding of what is happening in the Indian market, so that appropriate supply chain can be designed for India.”

Currently, Metro Cash & Carry has two centres in Bengaluru and three in Hyderabad. Globally, the group has over 600 stores in 29 countries with earnings of 30 billion euros last year.

As Manaccheni explained, “There is also need to train people in India as customer satisfaction is very essential, and this can be done through a properly trained staff.”

With retail being a new area, he felt that “there is need to develop a pan-India supply chain to ensure that produce reaches fresh to the outlets from the manufacturer.” Elaborating on this, he said, “There has to be a network of rural and regional hubs for supply chains. Only then can one do good business.”

Manaccheni said Metro is also encouraging kirana stores, and being a wholesaler, is supplying them with quality products to ensure that there is competitiveness among them.

Metro had begun operations in India in 2003 with two distribution centres in Bengaluru. It offers an assortment of over 18,000 articles across food and non-food categories at competitive wholesale prices to business customers such as hotels, restaurants, caterers, food and non-food traders, institutional buyers and professionals.

– Sri Krishna

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