Germany-based Metro Cash & Carry is planning to roll out sales through online channels for business customers in India by the year-end in an attempt to expand its presence in the segment.
The company is also set to open new stores and strengthen its network, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI).
In an effort to attract small kirana (neighbourhood) shops, the company has embarked on a programme that provides credit ranging between Rs100,000 and Rs1.5m on their purchases, as well as delivers products to their stores.
Metro Cash & Carry India chief executive and managing director Arvind Mediratta said: “In the next 60 to 90 days, before the end of this year, we would be starting our new e-commerce solutions.”
The company’s sales team currently visits shops to take orders.
The company has partnered with finance company Capital Float to extend credit services to small shopkeepers for seven to 14 days.
India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) policy currently does not allow foreign companies to have direct retail operations.
Companies that want to enter direct retailing through the FDI route need to take prior approval from the Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Mediratta added: “We believe that opportunity is huge in B2B sales and we want to capitalise.
“We do not want to be distracted by retail and now we have a business model which can be stayed back. We are in from almost 14 years and have developed very sound back-end infrastructure. It’s now time for expansion.”
The company plans to open 26 stores in next two years, taking its overall count in the country to 50 by 2020.