Thursday, December 12, 2013


Lot has been said and written about the GOI policy allowing retail foreign investment in the country. However GOI with a single minded "dedication" pushed through the policy that invites giant multinational retail companies to come to India and loot the country. Why this has been done in such a tearing hurry knowing well that there is substantial opposition to this move is not clear except that GOI wanted to please the Americans! Was it not known to the GOI that in spite of its foreign phobia, not even a single investor can set up shop in India unless the state governments allow them? After promulgating this new policy there does not appear to be much interest among foreign investors because they have realized that the current environment in the country is hostile to them! On the other hand the cash and carry wholesale business which came to India is thriving well and these players have done a yeoman service to the country by doing the "procurement operations" role to feed thousands of small vendors around the locations where they are doing business. A recent report about one of the wholesale business foreign companies operating in the country being awarded top honors proves the point that they are much more suitable to the situation in the country as it exists to day than the glamorous foreign owned malls and supper markets. Following report highlights the above view. 

"Earlier this year, a team of CII experts from the food industry audited the food safety and quality processes implemented by Metro Cash & Carry India at its flagship outlet in Yeshwanthpur, Bangalore.  The assessment was done on a four-tier model consisting of social, statutory, and regulatory compliance, product specific GMPs, pre-requisite programs, HACCP and management system structure, and change management initiatives. During the Summit, John Carter, GFSI Board Member and Senior Director – Own Brands & Product Quality Assurance, Metro Cash & Carry Germany also presented the company's approach to maintaining quality standards across its global supply chain. Metro Cash & Carry entered the Indian market in 2003. The company currently operates 15 wholesale distribution centres including two each in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, and one each in New Delhi, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Zirakpur, Amritsar, Vijayawada, and Indore. The wholesale centre operator will shortly open its 16th outlet in the country at Bangalore"

There are reported to be more than 8 million retail outlets owned and operated by local entrepreneurs across the country. They have been serving the people near their operating areas with high rate of satisfaction to their customers. The rapport built by them through personalized service can never be built by the super markets where each customer is just a faceless "number" for the management though supermarkets do provide better service in terms of diversified quality assured products. All said and done, supermarkets can still operate vying with the local vendors but foreign investment is not really called for in this area. GOI must encourage more and more cash and carry business players across the world who can play a complimentary role in revitalizing the Indian small entrepreneurs already in the field.


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