Charoen Pokphand’s Siam Makro plans Indian stores

Thailand conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group plans to invest Rs1000 crore (US$157 million) over the next five years to open Siam Makro wholesale stores in India.

Siam Makro, the company’s retail arm, will open 15 wholesale cash-and-carry stores in India, starting with Delhi-NCR, over the next three years under a new brand, Lots Wholesale Solutions.

“India and the US are the two priority markets for us for future growth,” says MD Tanit Chearavanont of CP Wholesale India.

The company hopes to open its first two stores, each covering more than 50,000sqft (4600sqm) in NCR by the end of the second quarter.

CP Group has cash-and-carry businesses in Thailand, China, Cambodia and Myanmar. It has 123 Makro cash-and-carry outlets in Thailand, and 60 outlets in China under the brand Lotus.

“We bring with us 28 years of experience in serving various business-to-business customers, such as hotels, restaurants and cafes, traders and service customers, through different cash-and-carry formats, large and small,” says Chearavanont. Hotels, restaurants and cafes, which account for about 28 per cent of the company’s business in Thailand, are seen as the largest segment in India as well.

CP Group, which entered India in 2016 through CP Foods, its agro-industrial and food unit, is looking at making India its innovation hub for technology and digitisation, says Chearavanont.

CP Wholesale India director (development and expansion) Sameer Singh says the company will look at competitive pricing to take on existing wholesalers in India. “We are also working on possible limited-period credit for customers. We are in discussions with banking institutions to finalise a strategy.” added Singh.

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