Business Today

We Need To Diversify Beyond Kiranas In India

LOTS Wholesale Solutions is a late entrant to India's cash and carry market, having started in January 2017, years after formidable rivals such as Metro and Walmart entered the country. It has been very aggressive though starting its first three stores within seven months and chalking out a plan to open 15 stores within three years. A subsidiary of Siam Makro, the cash and carry player with a long history in Thailand, it is part of the CP (Charoen Pokphand) group. Tanit Chearavanont, Managing Director, LOTS, responsible for cracking the Indian retail market, speaks to Business Today's Prosenjit Datta about how he plans to go about it. Edited excerpts

You started your career as an investment banker but now are in retail?

I started in corporate finance and M&A. So, I did a lot of IPO work. Then, I transitioned to consumer product and retail. I covered many consumer product, retail and FMCG companies. After that I joined Siam Makro in Thailand and worked out of there for a year and a half before moving to India.

Why did they choose a different name LOTS for India rather than going with Makro, which is well known?

We wanted to come into India with a new identity, a new brand, while keeping the essence of the host business, which was wholesale. In Thailand, we are in wholesale, so that's why we called it LOTS Solutions, so that the focus was towards B2B customers basically kirana as well as HORECA (hotel restaurant catering) customers. Additionally, when Makro was acquired by Thailand's CP group in 2013 as you know SHV was the original shareholder the Makro name

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