Cash-&-carry majors step up client training

Cash-&-carry majors step up client training

KOLKATA | CHANDIGARH: As wholesale cash and carry becomes the next big thing in India, Wal-Mart, Tesco, Metro and Carrefour plan to invest substantially on training and educating their key customers ��� kiranas, hotels and restaurants. These global retail biggies are equally focused on their crucial supplier base in India, for which training plans for both local and global sourcing are also in the works.

Apart from expanding business ties, analysts feel such activities are also aimed at removing apprehensions about the nascent cash and carry business in India. ���Since the cash and carry concept is relatively new to India, we need to educate our suppliers and clients about it for mutual benefits,��� Carrefour India MD Herve Clec���h told ET.

Carrefour plans to roll out its full-fledged training programmes closer to the launch of its first store in the National Capital Region (NCR). For starters, it has already briefed over 600 suppliers and trained 100 farmers. ���We wish to cover farmers in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and NCR for ensuring quality production and effective supply chain management,��� said Mr Clec���h.

Metro Cash & Carry, which operates five wholesales centres in India, has recently started a programme for hotels, restaurants and caterers for sharing expertise in areas like thematic cuisine, food festivals and menu merchandising. It has also trained over 44,000 sheep farmers and 1,250 fishermen. The German wholesaler now plans to start training programmes for farmers and traders in India.

���Such programs are an important part of our business proposition. It helps in increasing awareness about our core products and value offerings at the wholesale centres. We already run similar programmes for kiranas and farmers in markets like Vietnam, China, Turkey and Czech Republic,��� a Metro Cash & Carry India spokesperson said.

Industry sources said Tesco, which is in the process of opening its cash and carry stores in India, is also evaluating such opportunities. However, a Tesco spokesperson said: ���It is too early for us to share such details.��� Bharti Wal-Mart, which recently launched its first outlet in Amritsar, has rolled out programmes on taxation issues for kirana owners, food safety and hygiene workshops and live demos for hotels, restaurants and caterers. It now plans to roll out targeted programmes for different customers segments to improve their efficiency, enhance businesses and profitability.

���We are working on a training module called ���Mera Kirana���, specifically tailored for kirana stores to provide them training and insights into different areas. This will enable us to share best practices and advise kiranas on issues like assortment planning, license, safe food handling, member retention and value added services,��� a Bharti Wal-Mart spokesperson said.

Around 80-90% of the merchandise sold in Indian cash and carry outlets of these global biggies will be locally sourced products. This provides an opportunity for them to convert their local suppliers into global ones with adequate training. Bharti Wal-Mart and Metro, for instance, already have such plans. While Carrefour���s sources organic clothing, fruits and vegetables worth $170 million from India, Tesco���s India sourcing is already worth ��170-million.

���As we develop suppliers locally for our cash-and-carry business in India, we would like to leverage our global scale to transform some of these suppliers into exporters with access to our global markets over time,��� the Bharti Wal-Mart spokesperson added