No plans to enter front-end retail in India: Metro Group

Nov 07 2012, 21:54 IST
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SummaryGermany's retail major Metro Group today said it will not enter the front-end segment in India, citing unhappiness over pace of development and the need to "remove barriers".

Germany's retail major Metro Group today said it will not enter the front-end segment in India, citing unhappiness over pace of development and the need to "remove barriers".

The group, which is currently present in the cash-and-carry wholesale segment, said India needs to accelerate decision making regarding economic policies.

"I am not happy with the pace of development here. India needs acceleration and speed in decision making," Metro Group Vice-President (International Affairs Asia Pacific) Tino Zeiske said at World Economic Forum on India here.

When asked if Metro Group will enter the front-end retail in India after the government relaxed the norms recently, he said: "We do not have any intention to come for the front end here. We are present in cash-and-carry and we will gradually expand this business".

Zeiske said slow pace of decision making by a country results in losing on many fronts.

"The government's role should be to remove or lower barriers for investments. The ground level local governments should be given more power from the Centre and that will help in taking faster decisions," Zeiske said.

He further said the government should focus more on education to create workforce that will help creating jobs by the private sector.

"People challenge in India is tremendous. Population of India is growing and we do not have anything to skill the young, and I don't see the government scaling up skill development," he said.

Asking India to learn from others, he said: "As we need more manufacturing, I really want the (Indian) government to wake up and look at other governments and organisations."

At present, Metro Group has been present in India for the last 10 years and at present operates 12 stores.

Zeiske said Metro Group's global revenue is equally contributed by both the front end retail and the cash-and-carry businesses.

Talking about the Indian government's recent decision to relax FDI norms in retail, he said it was a step in the right direction.

"It'll be stimulating to the overall growth of the retail in India," he added.

Metro Group has retail presence in 32 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia with over 2,200 outlets. It employs about 280,000 employees from 180 nations.

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