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Prasoon Pal, CEO, Taskar - India’s 1st healthcare mall, talks to the Ashish Chanchlani about new venture of Taskar, Cash and Carry: Its scope in India, what factors make it a viable business option, and what are the prerequisites

What is Cash N Carry? How did it start?

The international concept with which Cash n Carry was started was to provide all services under one roof to unorganised pharmacy owners, FMCG owners, HORECA segment, hospitals & diagnostic centres district wise.

The basic idea was to play with volumes and small margins. Moreover, the business model required retailers to make up-front payments for all goods. Cash payments were required to forestall the chances of a financial crisis in the event of small retailers not being able to pay.

Now the concept of Cash and Carry has evolved to serve all unorganised or single handedly managed retailers. How?

Yes. It is about providing uninterrupted 24*7 products at an assured 2% less price, delivered at the retailers shop on the same day and the best possible customer experience to increase customer loyalty. Retailer has the choice of ordering products at various platforms & facility to visit and chose from the C&C store itself. Multinationals and other local companies also use cash n carry to launch their new products. They offer their products as samples or for tasting and note down the feedback regarding the smell, taste, price, etc. The kind of product diversification C&C has it is all possible to serve almost all health, beauty, HORECA, FMCG segment.

Providing a large number of SKU which are sourced after surveying the entire district, under one roof also adds an element of impulse buying that we see in both pharma or nonpharma areas.

Tell us about the cash and carry business in India. When did it start?

In India, We are the first one to start it. We are targeting the Tier - 2, 3 cities of country where there is a huge Gap between demand and supply in all segments we are catering! However, if we talk about the organized structure of cash and carry stores that led to its popularity as a business model, it started with the initiatives of Walmart & Metro. First cash and carry format in India was opened by METRO Cash and Carry in India in 2003

How do you see the future of Cash N Carry in India?

The cash and carry sector has huge potential in India. Certain elements provide impetus to the growth of cash and carry businesses in India.

“In India in all 718 districts of country there are 9 Lakh + registered pharmacies (pharma & surgical) with market valuation approx 100 Billion USD with market valuation of 9 Billion USD, 12.5 million FMCG retail outlets with market valuation at 110 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and many more other segments”

We are going to solve the biggest problem of these unorganised pharmacy and FMCG retailers by providing them one stop districtwise product & service availability in same day with minimum 2% to 10% less than the market price.

This targeted segment is daily need of every household hence the flow of business is always there.

This is time saving that’s why retailers are more accustomed to buying from us as they do not have time to purchase big number of SKUs from 20-30 distributors from different places and with N number of followups in sourcing.

We are planning to target 10% share of Indian market via 718 cash & carry outlets across country.

Why people should invest in Cash n Carry?

A cash and carry store, in my view, is a good investment. If you look at any other retail or wholesale business vertical, say, garment or footwear any other about to finish businesses like schools, fuel stations or brick kiln setup, you need specific volume and this requires more investment. In cash n carry businesses, you have the advantage of starting right away with us

It is understood that cash n carry business has good margins with a sustainable covid free model and can be started by anywhere in India at district level and of course with less investment than the other businesses with same profit margin or monthly revenue by anyone. Since Taskar’s Cash & Carry includes pharmaceutical, surgical, both food and non-food sections, it generates good profit margins.

How important is the location for a cash and carry store?

There is a famous saying regarding the retail business that three things are important: the first is location, the second is location and the third is location.

So location is the primary factor. You can change every other decision afterward, for example, you can change the décor or even products but it is very difficult to change the location.

The location selection is dependent on the factors like customer flow, convenience, parking space, the suitable environment around the store location, etc.

What’s would be the approximate capital and working capital cost for a small stand-alone cash n carry?

Investment varies. If you start with a 5,000 SqFt standard investment is between 1 Cr. This includes your stock, chillers, lighting, electricity work, etc.

As for the working capital, for the cash and carry businesses, the cash flow problem is gone the moment your store opens because sales start from day one.

If someone wants to open a cash and carry store, in your opinion, what should be the first step?

Location and investment is everything in this business. Since it is all managed by Taskar Team hence there is no question of operational activities. If we get support of proper location & Investment we are going to change the districts scenario in less than 6 months

What else would you suggest to someone starting a Cash and Carry business?

A key suggestion is to always wait and watch! This is the much needed business and completely depend upon the supply chain and product availability hence investment is required in order to capture the market. We are very much confident about the success of this venture.

If anyone who wants to start a cash and carry business approaches you, will you guide them completely right from the registration to layout?

Yes. It is FICO concept where franchise just invests it’s money as a security deposit whereas we as a company lookafter the business operations single handedly. We work as a turnkey operator to Cash & Carry business. Starting from Store design to lighting, interior, racks layouts, customer flow, advertising, social media marketing and product sourcing, software etc. everything is included. It’s win win situation for both the parties however Taskar’s responsibility is much more than the franchise as from day 1 Taskar’s 2 - 5 lakh salary gets started and we all know in initial months business takes time where as C&C franchise (Security Depositor) has his space and money both are safe.

You mentioned product sourcing. This means, you also help your cash and carry clients in purchasing a stock for the store?

Yes. As i told you it is an end to end company managed business vertical of Taskar.

Thanks so much, Mr. Prasoon Pal, enjoyed talking with you.

Thank you for having me.

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