US-headquartered cash & carry retailer Walmart is going to focus on its fresh food business in India. For this, the company is looking to launch collection and distribution centres in North India and ramp up its supply chain.
The food accounts for 60% of Walmart India’s overall business in the country, while the contribution from fresh fruits and vegetables is very low. At present, Walmart is sourcing fruits and vegetables mainly from mandis.
Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, said, "Currently, our major focus is on hardy vegetables such as potatoes, onions, garlic and on some other vegetables with slightly longer shelf life compared to greens. This is because, in this category, we can have a supply chain advantage rather than just source from mandis. The major focus is on building a supply chain for vegetables."
"The centres that we plan to open in North India to enable us to directly source from farmers will be outsourced, as it's a pilot project that will help us understand the whole game plan," he further stated.
Besides focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, the company is also accelerating its outlet openings. Earlier this month, Walmart India had unveiled its 25th store in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Iyer added, "It takes about three to four years to open a store. The initial period was more about rebuilding the team, revisiting the processes and the basics, and then starting to rebuild the pipeline. We got some experts back into the country to start the process. We are in a growth phase and we are investing for growth."