People@Work

‘You never play to draw a match, you play to win!’

Arvind Mediratta | Updated on January 16, 2019 Published on January 16, 2019

Arvind Mediratta, Managing Director and CEO, Metro Cash & Carry

Arvind Mediratta, Managing Director and CEO, Metro Cash & Carry

He is your textbook route, pedigreed IIT, IIM alumnus marketer who has worked with top FMCG firms before heading into retail. In his 27-plus years of working, Arvind Mediratta, Managing Director and CEO, METRO Cash & Carry, has had stints with Procter and Gamble, Whirlpool, Yum Restaurants and Marico before entering the retail arena with Walmart, where he spent nine years. His take on:

Digital disruption in retail

Digitisation and upgradation of technology have changed the landscape of the retail segment and helped in enhancing the overall customer experience. For traders and kirana segment, digitisation and modernisation with new fixtures are helping transform traditional closed format kiranas into open format stores. At METRO, we are making a big push in technology-enabled services to work with kiranas and small trader stores.

We launched a Kirana Success Centrethis year to empower the kirana community with modernisation & digitisation solutions to help them attract more footfalls and stay relevant in the modern competitive landscape. We have helped modernise operations of 500 kiranas in the country. We plan to scale up the programme.

A management mantra he swears by

I have always believed — You never play to draw a match, you always play to win! One must follow one’s heart with passion and stay determined to achieve one’s dreams and have a winning mindset. Excellence in execution makes the crucial difference between success and failure. One must also maintain a balance between brilliance and a moral compass, to make the right decisions. In life, a value system is extremely crucial for long-term growth as a leader.

Customer insights from his retail journey

Customer preferences and the local food habits change every 10 km. Our biggest edge is that we know what our customers want. We are able to offer a one-stop solution and tap the emerging trends, articulated and unarticulated needs of the customers. In addition, there is a clear price transparency in an organised wholesale sector such as ours. The price fluctuation in traditional markets is steep and unpredictable which makes cash and carry an ideal destination for the independent businesses.

Dealing with high turnover

At METRO, we have built a strong, transparent, performance-based culture wherein we encourage everyone to be a leader. We believe we have all reached here with experience and because people had entrusted us to deliver results and given us the freedom to do it. We give a lot of flexibility to our employees to learn from their mistakes. We promote transparency, resilience, critical thinking skills and customer orientation in our workplace. Over the past 15 years of operations in India, METRO has created close to 14,000 direct and indirect job opportunities and has been a huge learning ground for employees. Our attrition levels are lower than the industry’s.

A management book he recommends

Marshall Goldsmith’s How Successful People Become Even More Successful! What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Achieving work-life balance

Since my early years, travelling has been a great way of de-stressing. Travelling was my escape route; I travelled practically every weekend and explored many uncharted places, met new people, discovered the Indian culture and the varying food habits in different geographies.

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Published on January 16, 2019
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