Chandigarh, Feb 18 (IANS) International B2B (business to business) wholesale chain Metro Cash & Carry Friday announced that it would make its market entry in Punjab with its first wholesale centre at the state’s industrial city of Ludhiana.
The wholesale centre would be operational in the second half of this year, senior company officials said.
The announcement was made by the company’s managing director Rajeev Bakshi at a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here Friday, a state government spokesman said here.
Bakshi told Badal that the first wholesale centre of Metro Cash & Carry in Punjab will be operational at Ludhiana, 110 km from Chandigarh, during the latter half of 2011.
“This would be the company’s fifth city and seventh wholesale centre in India. This is also in continuation to the MoU signed by the company with the Punjab government in 2008. The company has already planned to open such wholesale centres at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Zirakpur (near Chandigarh)and Patiala in a phased manner,” Bakshi said.
Metro will invest Rs.60 crore (Rs.600 million) in each wholesale centre in Punjab, Bakshi added.
He said that the company was seriously contemplating to open another wholesale centre at Bathinda to source the local produce of farmers, especially the kinnow fruit and a sub-centre at Malerkotla for vegetables.
The company currently operates six wholesale centres, including two each in Bangalore and Hyderabad and one each in Mumbai and Kolkata.
Metro is the second major international wholesale chain to enter Punjab. Bharti-Walmart already has wholesale centres at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Zirakpur.
Bakshi said that the company will also be imparting training for Punjab’s youth in retailing and logistics to generate employment for them.
Badal also asked company officials to start training programme for farmers to motivate them to produce the best quality of fruits and vegetables.
“We are convinced that our unique business-to-business wholesale concept will be well accepted by our business customers here and will be beneficial to the local producers and the overall economy of Punjab,” Bakshi said.
Metro Cash & Carry entered the Indian market in 2003. It caters exclusively to professional business customers like hotels, restaurants, small retailers (kirana stores) and offices.