Future Consumer Limited (FCL), the food and FMCG arm of Future Group, recently announced the signing of a non-binding termsheet to form an equal joint venture with the United Kingdom’s largest wholesaler, Booker Group to expand and develop, Booker India.
As part of the partnership, Future Consumer Limited and Booker Group will jointly invest in scaling up the network, with the aim to service the merchandizing requirements of neighbourhood retailers across the country.
“Booker India has developed one of the lowest cost distribution networks for FMCG products through its cash and carry network in India. We are now happy to join hands with Booker to leverage their expertise in engaging with small, neighbourhood retailers and reach out to them with the FMCG brands and products being developed by our organization,” Vice-Chairman, Future Consumer Limited, Kishore Biyani said.
Booker Group entered India in 2009 and has invested in creating a network of six Cash & Carry stores that supply food, FMCG and related merchandize to thousands of small retailers and enterprises in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The chain currently operates out of four locations in Mumbai and one each in Pune and Surat.
It is the UK’s leading food wholesaler offering branded and private-label goods which are sold to over 900,000 business customers including independent convenience stores, grocers, leisure outlets, pubs and restaurants.The Group now comprises Booker Wholesale, Makro, Booker Direct, and Booker India, among others.
The Group currently trades from 200 branches in the UK. The average size of these branches is approximately 47,000 sq ft. Booker Group posted revenues of around GBP 5 billion in 2015.
Chief Executive Office, Booker Group, Charles Wilson said, “Together Booker and Future Group can scale up the business and reach out to a much larger number of retailers and customers in India. We are happy to have Future Consumer and the Future Group to partner with us in this endeavour and leverage their consumer knowledge, product range and expertise in identifying geographies, location and real estate to add fuel to our growth plans in India.”
Future Consumer Limited offers a wide range of brands and products that includes Tasty Treat (processed food), Nilgiris (dairy & bakery), Sunkist (beverages), Swiss Tempelle (personal care), Kara (beauty-on-the-go), CleanMate (home care), Desi Atta Company (over 40 variants of flours), Golden Harvest (grains, spices, lentils), Kosh (oats), Karmiq (health foods including canola and olive oils and dry fruits), Sangi’s Kitchen (dips & sauces), Veg Affair (frozen fruits and vegetables), Soo Fresh & Go Bananas (packed fruits and vegetables), among others. These brands will be introduced and distributed through the Booker India network.
FCL also has dedicated manufacturing facilities at India Food Park, Tumkur, along with extensive sourcing and processing facilties across the country. The company also operates joint venture partnerships with Migros Group from Switzerland and Aussie Oats in Sri Lanka and a licensing partnership with Sukist Growers from California, USA. Its products are distributed through multiple modern retail chains such as Big Bazaar, EasyDay, Heritage, Nilgiris, Aadhaar, Annapurna Bhandaar, Metro Cash & Carry, Tesco Star Bazaar and through other channels.