One of the country’s largest basmati rice exporters, REI Agro Ltd, has entered the retail business under the brand name 6Ten in North India. The Rs1,085 crore listed company plans to open 1,000 stores, with an investment of Rs1,500 crore in the next five years, said Sandip Jhunjhunwala, its promoter and managing director.
REI Agro is in the process of hiving off its retail business and informed the Bombay and National stock exchanges about its demerger plans earlier this year. The company has already opened 54 6Ten stores in several cities, including New Delhi and its suburbs of Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, in the fastest growing food and grocery segment, which constitutes more than half of the Rs12 trillion retail market.
“Our strategy is to locate our stores in populated middle class areas,” said Jhunjhunwala, adding the company has entered into long-term rental lease agreements for its expansion. Another 100 stores will be added by next month. It expects to earn revenue worth Rs250 crore by April 2008, which is the same size as its investment in the retail business for the year. It plans to open 200 stores this year.