Metro Cash & Carry: Profitability in the Indian Market
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Metro Cash and Carry India Private Limited (Metro C&C) was a chain of wholesale stores owned by the German retailer Metro Group, which opened its first store in India in the southern city of Bangalore in 2003. By 2018, the company led the cash-and-carry segment of the Indian wholesale market, but was still not profitable. It faced challenges related to high real estate costs, competition from domestic and international wholesale firms, and competition from a strengthening e-commerce sector. Its most important customer segment—small, unorganized retailers, or kiranas—faced similar challenges. With considerable investments in the country, Metro C&C needed to develop a strategy to become profitable in the country after 15 years of operations. How could it build active engagements with different customer segments to improve its performance and turn a profit?
This case is suitable for use in graduate- and executive-level courses on international business, international marketing, business-to-business (B2B) marketing, or business strategy. The case can also be used in retail management or retail marketing classes. It deals with challenges for a multinational enterprise in an emerging market. It can be used to discuss the needs of diverse customer segments in B2B markets and the need for firms to customize their offerings to provide value to their customers. The case requires students to investigate challenges and future growth opportunities for a leading global retail firm to become profitable in the highly competitive Indian market in 2018. By working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Outline the basics of the wholesale trade and its linkages with the retail business.
- Describe the complex challenges and opportunities that exist in the wholesale sector in emerging markets such as India.
- Explain the dynamics of business-to-business marketing, where companies deal with derived demand and their performance depends on the business performance of their customers.
- Explain the application of key account management in business-to-business markets.
- Compare and contrast standardization and adaptation frameworks for firms as they expand into different countries.
India, Large, 2018
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