Business Standard: March, 2014
New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is preparing to take its cash-and-carry, or wholesale, business to Rajasthan soon. In Jaipur, Reliance Market, the group’s cash-and-carry format, will directly compete with two multinational chains — Carrefour from France and Germany’s Metro. Sources said in Jaipur, where securing trained personnel was a challenge, Reliance Market had hired from both Carrefour and Metro. While RIL didn’t specify the format-wise break-up of stores under its retail business, estimates showed soon, the company would have more than 20 cash-and-carry outlets, becoming the largest organised wholesale player in the country.
Currently, American chain Walmart has the largest number of wholesale stores in India (20), followed by Metro (16) and Carrefour (five). Launched in September 2011, Reliance Market is the youngest player in India’s cash-and-carry segment. While Metro was launched in 2003, Walmart, along with the Bharti group, set up its first store — Best Price Modern Wholesale — in 2009. A Reliance Market spokesperson didn’t comment on the specifics of store locations, launches, expansion plans and hiring.
"Reliance Retail continues to focus on creating a talent pipeline to meet the future needs of the organisation. Identifying the best available talent in the industry and addressing the training and development needs of the workforce across retail formats is a vital and continual process," he said.
Even as Reliance Market initially remained focused on Gujarat and Maharashtra, it recently entered the Punjab market, seen as a stronghold of Walmart's Best Price Modern Wholesale, which set up its first India store in Amritsar. Subsequently, Walmart expanded into Zirakpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bhatinda.
In Punjab, Metro has four stores---in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Zirakpur and Amritsar.
Reliance Market, a division of Reliance Retail, has stores in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, the National Capital Region, Anand, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Ludhiana, Mohali, Chennai, Guntur, Madurai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Aurangabad and Baroda.
Through the next three years, the company could add about 60 cash-and-carry stores, ranging from 50,000 sq ft to 120,000 sq ft. For the retail business, the group has set a revenue target of Rs 40,000-50,000 crore for the next three years. In 2012-13, RIL's retail business reported a turnover of Rs 10,800 crore and an operational profit of Rs 78 crore.