In the year 1972, when M. Selvaraj came to Chennai from his native place (down south in Tamil Nadu), he was brimming with ideas and aspiring to start his own business. He piloted an in-depth analysis on Chennai’s grocery market scope, following which, he decided to start his own grocery business.
His first store came up at Nungambakkam in Chennai, which he named Grace Supermarket. Over the years, he grew and expanded the business. Today, Grace Supermarket in Chennai is an ISO certified company with 11 stores.
M.Selvaraj guided and monitored the business very closely, and was successful in positioning the retail chain strongly in the region. When S. Rajakumar, the present Managing Director of Grace Supermarket, took over the business mantel from his father, he showed remarkable business acumen. His knowledge of the food and grocery business, its trade secrets, and competition in the market helped him take control soon after taking the reins of the business. In fact, he decided to move forward quickly, and expanded the business across central Chennai. He brought in modern retailing systems and processes, introduced the self-service concept at the stores for the customers, and systemised the entire back- and front-end operations.
Today, Grace Supermarket has over 40,000 sqft of retail space, and has a strong base of loyal customers. Each Grace Storee handles approximately 9,000 SKUs that include food and non-food items. It has recently added Fruits and Vegetables in its product range, besides kitchenware, utensils and stationery items in keeping with consumer demand .
Says, S. Rajakumar, “The success formula of our chain of Grace Supermarket stores is our business strategies that are focussed yet simplified, and the operations are made easy and transparent.” Going forward, he informs that they have ambitious plans to increase the number of stores to double in a span of three years.