In Chennai, from time immemorial, the various wholesale markets have been functioning from different parts of the city. For instance, the flower and fruit markets used to be located in the Flower Bazaar area near Parry’s Corner. The vegetable market was in KothwalChavadi, also near Parry’s. Due to extreme congestion and lack of accessibility thanks to narrow roads and increasing traffic conditions, all three of them were shifted to the vast, new, well-organised Koyambedu Market, some years ago.
Meanwhile, in the Mint Street-Broadway-Parry’s Corner network of parallel streets, various other wholesale trades flourished and continued to cater to the retail needs of the city. These included, textiles, utensils, stationary, hardware, electricals, etc. Narrow streets in the George Town area and the adjoining localities continued to thrive despite the fact that one cannot drive a car into any of these streets. The perpendicularly situated NSC Bose Road could not support any car parking as many displaced vendors from the fruit and flower markets forcibly occupied the pedestrian footpaths and even the roadsides.
Ever since many distant neighbourhood localities became independent residential hubs, quite a few of the wholesalers branched out with wholesale and retail showrooms, both within the colonies as well as in the mushrooming shopping malls. Brands with large footprints like SPAR and Big Bazar took up huge spaces to cater to a burgeoning population which would shop in bulk for their growing family needs by enjoying wholesale prices.
One of the recent entrants in the wholesale trade is the SPR Group with their under-construction Market of India which is being set up in the erstwhile Binny Mills compound in Perambur, Chennai. SPR Group is the developer behind Market of India, India’s largest wholesale market with 5000+ shops and offices. Built to overcome the current trading challenges witnessed in unorganised traditional Indian markets, the wholesale centre provides a cohesive marketplace for business, and is expected to rival the biggest trade centres in China. Providing world-class infrastructure, warehousing, logistics, supply, and trade ecosystem, Market of India is expected to transform India into a trade destination and will provide and enable traders in India and South Asia to expand their business.
Hitesh Kawad, managing director of the SPR Group managed to convince the Chennai Apparel Association (CAA) that 100 apparel shops should be set up in the Market of India, when the facility is completed and ready to welcome customers. Bharat Sarda, President, CAA and Ramesh Bisani, Member of CAA says, “Chennai is the largest garment consumer market in the country recording the highest sales of all types of garments. In this hub of textiles, the upcoming ‘Market of India’ is going to be a landmark in itself. By setting up 100 textile shops, we will ensure that all types of and all strata of garment manufacturers and retailers will be presented under one roof and thus will boost business growth in the sector.”
The Market of India has the potential to transform the country’s business landscape and is all set to become a leading trade destination in the future. “Towards this vision, we have been relentlessly working to bring onboard traders from across the country,” says Hitesh Kawad. CAA’s association with Market of India is expected to provide a global opportunity for all its member organisations to expand their business presence and reach. To benefit traders from all corners of the country, SPR Group now plans on forming similar associations with representative organisations from other verticals which will be lined up in the next few months.
From Supermarkets to Hypermarkets to Wholesale markets, the consumer-centric trade landscape is swiftly changing to meet the demands of a vast local and migrant population that is dotting the Chennai neighbourhood.