Metro has strategised its focus this year on the growth of its own customers. Vishal Sehgal, Head – Corporate Relations, Metro Cash & Carry India, discusses the company’s new brand positioning and strong customer ties, with Roshna Chandran
What led to the re-branding of Metro Cash and Carry?
From a wholesale store for professional customers to a leading international self-service wholesaler – Metro has charted an unprecedented path of growth over the past 50 years. The basis for this success was, and remains, the good relationships it has established with its professional customers. The better Metro supports their daily businesses, the stronger the relationship becomes. Or, to put it in another way, what is good for the customers is also good for the company.
This attitude is at the heart of our new brand positioning: You & METRO. Metro Cash & Carry makes an important contribution to helping our customers successfully grow their businesses and unleash their entrepreneurial spirit. We are committed to providing the best-possible support to our customers so they can reach their goals: with our exceptional service, top-quality products, the far-reaching expertise we have gained over the years and new ideas. We want to be a champion for independent businesses, putting ourselves in the shoes of our professional customers at all times. Their initiative, their creativity, their courage, and their passion serve as our motivation to always be the best in our business.
The message YOU & METRO gets to the heart of how important close relationships are to achieving mutual success – in relationships between Metro Cash & Carry and its customers, as well as those with business partners and employees.
Will there be any change in the business model?
Metro’s business model will continue unchanged in India, where we look forward to growing and developing our Cash & Carry model beyond our curent presence. As announced recently, we are looking to expand our presence in the country to 50 wholesale outlets by the year 2020, and we hope to achieve this through the highest standards of operational excellence, supply chain efficiency, and customer service.
We have always maintained that we are driven by our own strategic operators – whether we are navigating new markets, adapting, localising or fortifying our presence. Metro’s growth has been steady and at our own pace, based on internal and environmental factors.
With greater investments in supply chain infrastructure, a more conducive policy environment, as well as a stronger and self-sustaining economy, the Cash & Carry model is increasingly becoming a sustainable model for the Indian market.
What are the challenges with respect to supply chain efficiencies?
An efficient supply chain enables better and timely food supplies across the country. Metro has set up Fruits & Vegetables Collection Centres across markets to procure fresh produce directly from farmers, who are informed in advance of the requirement and can plan their harvest accordingly. Fresh produce is transported and delivered directly to Metro’s network of distribution centres within 12-15 hours of harvest. In addition, cultivators of fruits and vegetables find an expanded market in Metro’s vast and diverse customer base across the country. Farmers now get better value for their produce because Metro eliminates multi-handling of goods, and invests in supply chain efficiency.
We also support farmers and small manufacturers/suppliers with intensive training interventions, backed by stringent quality guidelines for all business partners. Metro’s training objectives include implementing international standards and certification systems, and meeting customer requirements for food quality and safety. In accordance with our company policy, waste/expired/damaged goods are destroyed and disposed in the most sustainable manner. For instance, our wet garbage is processed for use by municipal authorities in the production of organic manure, while other waste is treated by our own Sewage Treatment Plants to ensure minimal pollution to the environment.