“OUR CUS­TOMERS ARE AT THE CORE OF OUR BUSI­NESS AND WE ARE A ONE-STOP SHOP FOR ALL THEIR BUSI­NESS NEEDS”

TANIT CHEARAVANONT MD, LOTS WHOLE­SALE SO­LU­TIONS

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Front Page - By Pro­gres­sive Gro­cer Bureau

LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions re­cently un­veiled its sec­ond Cash & Carry whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in In­dia at Ak­shard­ham in East Delhi. The launch of LOTS’ sec­ond store fol­lows closely on the heels of its first store three months ago. In­au­gu­rated by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, this is sec­ond of the fif­teen dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres that the firm is aim­ing to open in In­dia over the next three years.

The newly launched store will cater to over 45,000 reg­is­tered busi­ness cus­tomers, which in­clude ho­tels, restau­rants, and cater­ers (Horeca), ki­rana stores, cor­po­rates, MSMES and in­sti­tu­tions such as gov­ern­ment agen­cies, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes, and hos­pi­tals. Spread over an area of more than 53,000 sq. ft., the newly opened store has all the fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing au­to­matic sys­tem or­ders for re-stock­ing, pre­dict­ing the de­mand as per cus­tomer’s be­hav­iour, and des­ig­nated goods re­ceiv­ing and dis­patch­ing, live bak­ery, among many more. Other no­table fea­tures are trans­par­ent pric­ing, round-theyear pro­mo­tions, con­sis­tent prod­uct avail­abil­ity, cus­tom­ized last mile de­liv­ery and credit fa­cil­i­ties, all of which are tai­lored to sat­isfy the needs of its reg­is­tered mem­bers.

“We had promised to open two whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres in In­dia in 2018. To­day, that prom­ise has been ful­filled. From our first store, we have ex­ceeded the ex­pec­ta­tions we had set for our­selves. We have been get­ting very good re­sponse and we are get­ting 600-1500 walk-in cus­tomers daily. We de­cided to open our sec­ond store in Ak­shard­ham in view of the un­ful­filled po­ten­tial of the area in terms of whole­sale buy­ing op­tions. The fa­cil­ity is all set to cater to the re­quire­ments of our mem­bers in east Delhi and nearby catch­ment ar­eas. Through this store, the busi­ness cus­tomers of LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions

will have a wide range of more than 5,000 food and no-food products to se­lect from. Be­sides, they will also ben­e­fit from cus­tom­ized de­liv­ery so­lu­tions, com­pet­i­tive pric­ing and per­son­al­ized ser­vice through our busi­ness de­vel­op­ment as­so­ciates,” Tanit Chearavanont, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions, said com­ment­ing on the launch of the new store. With its ex­pand­ing foot­print in Delhi-ncr, LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions will gen­er­ate 5,000 direct and in­di­rect jobs over the next five years.

The launch cer­e­mony was presided over by the chief guest Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.

Also present at the launch cer­e­mony was Chutin­torn Gongsakdi, Thai­land’s Am­bas­sador to In­dia

and LOTS’ global and In­dian lead­er­ship team. “I con­grat­u­late LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions on open­ing its sec­ond store in Delhi-ncr. The Re­tail sec­tor in In­dia is poised for higher growth as we are grow­ing at 8.2% . We have jumped 65 spot and moved up sub­stan­tially in the ease of do­ing busi­ness. In­dia is the only coun­try to have re­pealed 1,300 reg­u­la­tory laws as part of our ef­forts to­wards cre­at­ing a bet­ter busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. In­dian FDI has grown 62% whereas glob­ally the num­bers have shrunk by 16%. This is a unique story for In­dian re­tail and the gov­ern­ment is push­ing for greater fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion and work­ing closely with other stake­hold­ers. Such en­abling reg­u­la­tory norms and lib­er­alised FDI pol­icy should make it eas­ier for global com­pa­nies like LOTS to in­vest in In­dia and on mu­tu­ally ben­e­fit­ing terms. We will act as a facilitator and as­sure them of all the sup­port they need to ex­cel and de­liver on the de­mands and ex­pec­ta­tions of their cus­tomers,” said Kant.

In re­cent years, In­dia has emerged as one of the top des­ti­na­tions for FDI. The in­flow of FDI into In­dia has gone up sig­nif­i­cantly with re­ceipts flow­ing in from across the world, which has given In­dia ac­cess to the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, best prac­tices, and global in­no­va­tions. The ar­rival of multi­na­tional com­pa­nies like CP Whole­sale So­lu­tions in In­dia, which has cho­sen a 100 per cent FDI route to es­tab­lish its op­er­a­tions in In­dia, fur­ther vin­di­cates the pop­u­lar­ity of Brand In­dia in the world. With In­dia’s re­tail sec­tor pro­jected to grow to USD 1.3 tril­lion by 2020, the coun­try is the land of op­por­tu­ni­ties for po­ten­tial in­vestors and com­pa­nies look­ing to start op­er­a­tions here.

We place our cus­tomers at the core of our busi­ness. The fa­cil­ity is all set to cater to the re­quire­ments of our mem­bers in East Delhi and nearby catch­ment ar­eas. Through this store, our busi­ness cus­tomers will have a wide range of more than 5,000 food and non-food products to choose from.

– Tanit Chearavanont MD, LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions

There has been an over­all growth of the In­dian econ­omy, which has in­creased the pur­chas­ing power of the peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas open­ing de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the com­pa­nies to ex­pand their pres­ence. This of­fers a huge po­ten­tial for Cash & Carry play­ers to tar­get B2B cus­tomers – like ki­rana stores and ca­ter­ing to the ru­ral au­di­ence. Also, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST has cre­ated a favourable en­vi­ron­ment for com­pa­nies like LOTS that aim to es­tab­lish and ex­pand op­er­a­tions across In­dia. It rubs off pos­i­tively on sup­ply chain ef­fi­ciency, uni­form as­sort­ment of goods and in sup­port­ing the end con­sumers. Cash & Carry, also known as whole­sale trade, is fast emerg­ing in In­dia, where Lots Whole­sale com­petes with play­ers such as Wal­mart, Metro Cash and Carry and Re­liance Cash and Carry, a unit of Re­liance In­dus­tries Ltd.

Ac­cord­ing to Am­bas­sador Chutin­torn Gongsakdi, af­ter the ar­rival of LOTS in In­dia, busi­ness in­ter­est in the coun­try has picked up sub­stan­tially and many more com­pa­nies from Thai­land have be­gun mak­ing en­quiries about start­ing op­er­a­tions in In­dia. “As the Thai Am­bas­sador to In­dia, I have set an on­go­ing goal for In­dia and Thai­land to strengthen our eco­nomic re­la­tions. One tar­get I had was to have at least two new busi­nesses to come and start busi­ness in In­dia dur­ing my term in of­fice,” said the Am­bas­sador. He re­marked in a lighter vein that his task in In­dia has al­ready been ac­com­plished within one and half years of tak­ing up of­fice. “With the reg­is­tra­tion of CP Group’s LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions Pvt. Ltd. and SCG In­ter­na­tional Pvt. Ltd., I have al­ready suc­ceeded in meet­ing my tar­get. I can go home but I have re­set my tar­get to bring in two new Thai com­pa­nies per year.”

Ex­press­ing his sat­is­fac­tion and plea­sure at In­dia’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Thai­land’s east­ern eco­nomic cor­ri­dor, he ob­served: “Speak­ing on this oc­ca­sion to­day, I al­ready know that two new busi­nesses are in the process of reg­is­ter­ing their busi­ness in In­dia. So things are very vi­brant. I have wit­nessed all the hard work done by Tanit and his team with re­spect to LOTS’ first store. I would like to sin­cerely con­grat­u­late the LOTS team on the open­ing of the sec­ond store. To wit­ness a Thai MNC such as CP Group, known for great cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and val­ues, grow their busi­ness in In­dia gives us great sat­is­fac­tion and pride. In­dia is a dy­namic coun­try

In­dia has re­pealed 1,300 reg­u­la­tory laws and has leapfrogged 65 places in the ease of do­ing busi­ness. We are script­ing a unique story in re­tail and with in­ter­na­tional play­ers like LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions setting up op­er­a­tions in In­dia, it is a tes­ta­ment to In­dia’s open-door poli­cies in trade.

– Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog

with a great fu­ture and it is a mo­ment of pride for the Royal Thai­land gov­ern­ment and my­self that Thai com­pa­nies are keen to play a con­trib­u­tory role in In­dia’s econ­omy.”

Point­ing out that the open­ing of the LOTS’ sec­ond store re­flects the on­go­ing rise of Thai busi­nesses in In­dia and is proof of Thai in­vest­ment suc­cess­fully flow­ing into In­dia, Am­bas­sador Chutin­torn Gongsakdi said: “LOTS and CP Group’s suc­cess will, in turn, have a halo ef­fect on other com­pa­nies in the CP Group and other Thai busi­nesses want­ing to en­ter In­dia. As am­bas­sador, I am pleased to see the full po­ten­tial of Indo-thai eco­nomic re­la­tions be­ing de­vel­oped through the en­gage­ment of CP Group and other Thai MNCS and SMES and also vice versa from the In­dian side. We have now around 28 Thai com­pa­nies in In­dia and the 28 will soon be thirty and more. The trend is good and The Royal Thai em­bassy has been re­ceiv­ing

many ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est in do­ing busi­ness with Thai­land from the In­dian side as well. I will use my of­fice as a busi­ness match­ing venue to put this act to­gether. Thanks to the ef­forts of Amitabh Kant, Niti Ayog, and oth­ers in team In­dia, the gov­ern­ment in In­dia has been very suc­cess­ful in re­form­ing the econ­omy and mak­ing it friendly to in­vestors. This is the right time for Thai busi­nesses to se­cure their place in In­dia’s fu­ture. And this mes­sage is not only for Thais but other ASEAN and other na­tion­al­i­ties as well. It’s not too late to be in In­dia and start now but in an­other five years it will al­most be too late. Thai­land is ranked 26 in the ease of do­ing busi­ness and we also of­fer a very friendly setting for for­eign in­vestors wish­ing to set up op­er­a­tions in our coun­try.”

The In­dian gov­ern­ment, on its part, is ac­tively favour­ing open-door poli­cies in in­vest­ment and trade. The gov­ern­ment is push­ing for fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion and work­ing closely with min­istries like Com­merce, DIPP and Food Pro­cess­ing to bring re­lief to farm­ers by dou­bling their in­come through bet­ter yield. “It is our vi­sion to make In­dia an ideal place for large for­mat busi­ness groups to set up shop and con­trib­ute to the grow­ing de­mands of our grow­ing na­tion. I am im­pressed that LOTS with its val­ues of “lo­cal love” and prin­ci­ples of 3Cs – coun­try, com­mu­nity and com­pany – is not just about profit mak­ing but also about fo­cus­ing on con­tribut­ing to the so­ci­ety in equal mea­sure. My com­pli­ments to LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions for open­ing two whole­sale stores within a span of three months,” Kant said.

In In­dia, LOTS is com­mit­ted to in­vest over INR 1,000 crore (INR 10 bil­lion) in the first five years and its plan of open­ing 15 whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres across north­ern In­dia has al­ready started tak­ing shape. Within a span of one year of sign­ing the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with the Min­istry of Food Pro­cess­ing In­dus­tries, the com­pany – CP Whole­sale In­dia Pri­vate Limited – was in­cor­po­rated, LOTS brand was launched and two stores have started op­er­a­tions al­ready. It plans to open a third one in Noida by the end of this fi­nan­cial year. Be­cause of the real es­tate chal­lenges in the coun­try, the com­pany has de­cided to open 25,000-50,000 sq. ft. stores in­side the cities in­stead of out­skirts. “If we build cen­tres out of the city, it is very dif­fi­cult for the peo­ple to travel. That is the rea­son why we con­tinue to fo­cus on building stores where the catch­ment is,” said Tanit.

The com­pany, which in­vests on av­er­age Rs. 60-70 crore in one cen­tre, is also look­ing at open­ing stores in Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Ja­land­har, and

In In­dia, LOTS is com­mit­ted to in­vest over INR 1,000 crore (INR 10 bil­lion) in the first five years and its plan of open­ing 15 whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres across north­ern In­dia has al­ready started tak­ing shape.

Kolkata. For the next 2-3 years, the com­pany will con­tinue to add more stores in north In­dia as a part of its ex­pan­sion plans and in­tends to have a na­tional foot­print in 10 years time. Be­sides, the com­pany also plans to adopt the omni-chan­nel sys­tem for in­te­grat­ing on­line sales chan­nel with its brick and mor­tar stores and is also ex­plor­ing the idea of hav­ing dark stores/ful­fil­ment cen­tre in In­dia.

“With reg­u­la­tory changes like GST, de­mon­e­ti­za­tion, RERA and the Make in In­dia pol­icy bring­ing about a higher or­ga­ni­za­tion on the In­dian re­tail scene, there is no time like the present for re­tail­ers from across the world to ven­ture into the coun­try and in­vest. Our par­ent com­pany Siam Makro has de­fin­i­tive ex­pan­sion plans in the ASEAN re­gion and owing to a pos­i­tive reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, In­dia is the first on our list. We see a lot of po­ten­tial and the right type of in­vest­ing and re­tail­ing en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try, which is why we were ready to take the lead here,” said Sameer Singh, Di­rec­tor – Op­er­a­tions, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment and Ex­pan­sion, LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions.

He added that LOTS fol­lows a clus­ter ap­proach. The brand sets up stores ba­sis the sup­plier/ cus­tomer base so that it can pro­vide them with a hassle-free ex­pe­ri­ence and build a ro­bust sup­ply chain and make the de­liv­ery process faster. “Our par­ent com­pany Siam Makro has evolved into sev­eral sep­a­rate store for­mats and we are bring­ing all these for­mats and this knowl­edge to In­dia, ready to ex­plore both large or small sizes and even mul­ti­level sizes. We can look at dif­fer­ent sizes, which could help us at dif­fer­ent lev­els. It gives us that ex­cite­ment to be part of the catch­ment it­self, oth­er­wise we might be stuck on a cer­tain for­mat,” ex­plains Singh.

This catch­ment-spe­cific ap­proach is ex­tended to the daily needs and gro­cery sec­tions of the prod­uct range of LOTS as well. All ef­forts are made to source fresh pro­duce from lo­cal farm­ing com­mu­nity, which helps farm­ers earn bet­ter while re­duc­ing wastage dur­ing trans­porta­tion and stor­age. Ac­cord­ing to Singh, LOTS of­fers so­lu­tions to mem­ber com­pa­nies, which help them un­der­take a path of sus­tain­able growth. Our prod­uct se­lec­tion is based on de­tailed re­search that is spe­cific to the re­gion as well as the com­mu­nity. A crit­i­cal el­e­ment is to pro­vide sup­port to the home-grown brands – an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of our re­gion-spe­cific busi­ness strat­egy. There­fore, apart from en­gag­ing with in­ter­na­tional brands, we are work­ing very closely with In­dian brands and lo­cal farm­ers.”

Tak­ing pride in work­ing with the lo­cal com­mu­nity and giv­ing back to so­ci­ety, LOTS has joined hands with farm­ers in Bhatinda to help them adopt pro­gres­sive farm­ing method­ol­ogy. In ad­di­tion to that, the com­pany is com­mit­ted to sourc­ing

TO WIT­NESS A THAI MNC SUCH AS CP GROUP, KNOWN FOR GREAT COR­PO­RATE GOV­ER­NANCE AND VAL­UES, GROW THEIR BUSI­NESS IN IN­DIA GIVES US GREAT SAT­IS­FAC­TION AND PRIDE. IN­DIA IS A DY­NAMIC COUN­TRY WITH A GREAT FU­TURE AND IT IS A MO­MENT OF PRIDE FOR THE ROYAL THAI­LAND GOV­ERN­MENT AND MY­SELF THAT THAI COM­PA­NIES ARE KEEN TO PLAY A CON­TRIB­U­TORY ROLE IN IN­DIA’S ECON­OMY. — Chutin­torn Gongsakdi Thai­land’s Am­bas­sador to In­dia

fresh pro­duce from the lo­cal farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties, share know-how and pack­ag­ing and stor­age so that farm­ers can re­duce wastage dur­ing trans­porta­tion and stor­age and in­crease their in­come. The com­pany hopes that its ef­forts will help to de­velop the agri­cul­tural sec­tor in In­dia.

At the same time, LOTS is fo­cused on cus­tomers’ needs and sat­is­fac­tion. The com­pany brings spe­cially cu­rated as­sort­ments, cat­e­gorised into food and bev­er­ages, kitchen­ware, household ap­pli­ances, home decor, fur­ni­ture, bed­ding, tex­tiles, sta­tionery and of­fice sup­plies, elec­tronic products and oth­ers; mak­ing LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions a com­plete one-stop shop. The com­pany also of­fers a var­ied set of ben­e­fits to its mem­bers, in­clud­ing a wide range of prod­uct se­lec­tion at its stores, based on de­tailed re­search specif­i­cally catered to the catch­ment area and mar­ket de­mand. The com­pany, which cur­rently has a cus­tomer base of around one lakh mem­bers, will also of­fer its sup­port to home-grown brands and lo­cal sup­pli­ers and is look­ing to turn prof­itable in the next five years.

“We place our cus­tomers at the core of our busi­ness and aim to pro­vide a hassle-free shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, mak­ing LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions a one stop shop for all their busi­ness needs. We aim at sourc­ing our products from not only top in­ter­na­tional brands but also In­dian brands as well. Ad­di­tion­ally, we be­lieve in sup­port­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity so that they flour­ish with­out sup­port,” em­pha­sised Tanit Chearavanont.

– Sameer Singh Di­rec­tor – Op­er­a­tions, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment and Ex­pan­sion, LOTS Whole­sale So­lu­tions

We see a lot of po­ten­tial and the right type of in­vest­ing and re­tail­ing en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try, which is why we are ready to take the lead here.

Dhanin Chear­avo­nant, Se­nior Chairman, CP Group, along with Thai­land’s Am­bass­dor to In­dia, Chutin­torn Gongsakdi

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