KOLKATA: German wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry plans to team up with financial institutions in India to offer credit facilities to customers.It has already entered into a partnership with SKS Microfinance to roll out such a pilot initiative among kiranas in Hyderabad.
The company is evaluating the possibility of scaling up this initiative across consumer segments, especially since many are feeling the heat of the economic slowdown.
“The pilot project is a kind of learning curve for us. We wish to be close to our customers and support them since many are increasingly getting affected due to the economic situation,” Metro Cash & Carry International regional operating officer (Asia) James Scott told ET on the sidelines of the launch of Metro’s first wholesale centre in Kolkata on Wednesday. The company already operates two centres in Bangalore, and one each in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Mr Scott stressed that Metro’s role in such credit arrangements for customers will be that of a facilitator. “We will tie up with third-party financial institutions who will offer such financing. In fact, in our kirana training programmes, we are also providing inputs on how to seek finance support. Such schemes may also be rolled out for institutional buyers,” he said.
Metro Cash & Carry already operates such mom-and-pop retailer support programmes in other countries such as Poland and Turkey. “In Turkey, we have a credit card programme for kiranas. Such possibilities cannot be ruled out in India. After all, we are looking at India as a major market for long-term growth,” said Mr Scott.