The $4.5 billion tractor-to-real estate Mahindra group today announced a foray into the rapidly growing Indian organised retail market with a chain of premium lifestyle stores selling apparels, toys and furnishings.
The new venture has been christened Mahindra Retail and would operate under group company Mahindra Intertrade. The roll out is planned over a year. The company did not comment on the exact number of stores being planned or reveal any investment details.
The Mahindra group already held licences to distribute children’s apparel, toys and furnishings of giants such as Walt Disney, Mattel, Lego and Woolworths’ Ladybird, a company executive said.
“As such, it is a natural extension of the group’s existing business,” said Raghunath Murti, executive vice-chairman, Mahindra Intertrade. The company is planning to introduce private labels in its stores.
Mahindra Retail has already started looking for talent. The company put out recruitment advertisements in newspapers today. It was looking for people with 15 years of experience in different fields such as project development and management, business development, merchandising and so on, the advertisement stated.
The Mahindra group already has interests in the agriculture sector through export of fresh produce – under Mahindra Shubhlabh. It is also looking to carve Mahindra Logistics as a separate company and list it. Mahindra Logistics has lined up Rs 400 crore to set up greenfield warehouses across the country. The company is planning customised cold and dry warehouses and fruits and vegetable processing centres for corporates in major cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi and Kolkata.
Mahindra Agri Business, a group company, is in talks with European supply chain companies to set up a supply chain joint venture for international and domestic markets. Mahindra’s Agri Business is involved in contract farming, contract services, exports and agri retailing.
To supply fresh produce to domestic modern retail formats, the company is conducting a pilot project in Punjab over 100 acres. The company is supplying to retailers such as Subhiksha, ITC, Namdhary Fresh ,Reliance Retail to supply the produce. This was part of its strategy to sell fruits and vegetables under its own brand name – Mahindra.