Future Group FMCG arm in JV with UK-based firm for cash & carry format

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 15, 2016

Aims to service merchandising requirements of neighbourhood retailers

Future Consumer, the food and FMCG arm of Future Group, has entered the cash & carry business by forging an equal joint venture with the UK-based wholesaler, Booker Group, which has already been present in India since 2009.

Booker Group has invested in creating a network of six Cash & Carry stores that supply food, FMCG and related merchandise to small retailers and enterprises in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The chain operates out of four locations in Mumbai and one each in Pune and Surat.

As part of the partnership, Future Consumer Ltd and Booker Group will jointly invest in scaling up the network, with the aim to service the merchandising requirements of neighbourhood retailers across the country.

In a statement, Kishore Biyani, Vice-Chairman, Future Consumer Ltd, said: “Booker India has developed one of the lowest cost distribution networks for FMCG products through its cash and carry network in India. We are now happy to join hands with Booker to leverage their expertise in engaging with small, neighbourhood retailers and reach out to them with the FMCG brands and products being developed by our organisation.”

While a non-binding term sheet has been signed, it would take a while for the JV company to start operations.

Sanjay Jain, Group CFO, Future Group, said: “The formalities would get completed in the first quarter of next year and it would be at least four-five months before we can start benefiting from the JV.”

In the past, Future group had decided to enter the cash & carry format through a partnership with the Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Group, which did not fructify.

Charles Wilson, Chief Executive Office, Booker Group said, “Together Booker and Future Group can scale up the business and reach out to a much larger number of retailers and customers in India. We will leverage their consumer knowledge, product range and expertise in identifying geographies, location and real estate to add fuel to our growth plans in India.”

Booker Group is the UK’s leading food wholesaler offering branded and private label goods which are sold to over 900,000 business customers including independent convenience stores, grocers, leisure outlets, pubs and restaurants.

Future Consumer has manufacturing facilities at India Food Park, Tumkur, along with sourcing and processing facilities across the country.

The company also operates joint venture partnerships with Migros Group from Switzerland and Aussie Oats in Sri Lanka and a licensing partnership with Sunkist Growers from California, USA.

Published on November 15, 2016
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