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Food Supply Chain Management of Big Bazaar

Learning facilitator: Dr. Parikshit Charan

Submitted on: 13th September 2010

Submitted by: Ankit Garg (06502921)

Mayur Singhal (06502917)

Parul Sharma (09609075)

Varun gupta (09609175)

Sunil Bhardwaj (09609196)

Sayantan Nandi (06502913) 





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Big Bazaar is a chain of hypermarkets in India, with more than 100 stores in operation. It is a
subsidiary of Future Group Venture Ltd's, and follows the business model of United States-
based Wal-Mart.
Big Bazaar is led by Pantaloon Retail, the group¶s flagship company, and the company
operates 120 Big Bazaar stores, 170 Food Bazaar stores, among other formats, in over 70
citiesacross the country, covering an operational retail space of over 6 million square feet.
The company follows a multi-format retail strategy that captures almost the entire
consumption basket of Indian customers. In the lifestyle segment, the group operates
Pantaloons, a fashion retail chain and Central, a chain of seamless malls. In the value
segment, its marquee brand, Big Bazaar is a hypermarket format that combines the look,
touch and feel of Indian bazaars with the choice and convenience of modern retail.
In 2008, Big Bazaar opened its 100th store, marking the fastest ever organic expansion of a
hypermarket. The first set of Big Bazaar stores opened in 2001 in Kolkata, Hyderabad and

The group¶s speciality retail formats include supermarket chain ± Food Bazaar, sportswear
retailer - Planet Sports, electronics retailer - eZone, home improvement chain - Home Town
and rural retail chain, Aadhaar, among others. It also operates popular shopping portal -

This large format store comprise of almost everything required by people from different
income groups. It varies from clothing and accessories for all genders like men, women and
children, playthings, stationary and toys, footwear, plastics, home utility products,cosmetics,
crockery,home textiles, luggage gift items, other novelties, and also food products and
grocery. The added advantage for the customers shopping in Big Bazar is that there are all
time discounts and promotional offers going on in the Big Bazar on its salable products.

Shopping in the Big Bazar is a great experience as one can find almost everything under the
same roof. It has different features which caters all the needs of the shoppers. Some of the
significant features of Big Bazar are:

„ The Food Bazar or the grocery store with the department selling fruits and vegetables
„ There is a zone specially meant for the amusement of the kids
„ Furniture Bazar or a large section dealing with furnitures
„ Xlectronics Bazar or the section concerned with electronic goods and cellular phones
„ or the online shopping portal which makes shopping easier as one
can shop many products of Big Bazar at the same price from home
„ Well regulated customer care telecalling services


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with their own specific requirements that need customized solutions.

Big Bazaar¶s Supply Chain¶s transportation capability enables it to implement Factory-Gate

logistics involving pick-up of goods from vendors across the country, national distribution of
goods, and city logistics that includes store deliveries and home deliveries. Big Bazaar¶s
Supply Chains is the first organized intra-city transportation services company in India -
carrying out not only B2B deliveries but also B2C deliveries in the form of thousands of
home deliveries every day across the country, especially for Furniture and Consumer

Big Bazaar is also working on the vendor network as well as the logistics network. The
company has identified up to 40 anchor vendors, each with turnovers of US$45 million, to
achieve economies of scale. The group is also keen to ensure that its smaller vendors are able
to reach turnovers of around US$1 million and a growth rate of 40% annually, to be able to
pass on the benefits of scales. The company is also working towards bringing its 1,200
vendors online, like Wal-Mart.

In India, Big Bazaar derives significant economies of scale in managing their supply chain.
With more than 170000 products, the company maintains a strong supplier relationship in a
partnership mode, avoiding the exploitative supplier ± buyer transactional philosophy. The
IT enabled back-end operations and supply chain management increases the reliability and
efficiency of the business.

As part of the operation, Big Bazaar is also undertaking to reduce its warehousing costs
through a consolidation process. In a country like India, where most retail stores are located
in the heart of the city²where rents are high and storage space is scarce²supply chain
management has even more serious business implications. Future Logistics now handles
two-and-a-half million SKUs (or stock keeping units) a day across the Future Group's
various retail formats around the country. By 2010, this number is expected to increase to
more than 30 million SKUs a day. Xven with 98% accuracy, some 600,000 pieces will not be
delivered correctly, resulting in an estimated sales loss of more than Rs 4 crore a day.

Big Bazaar¶s four main consumer sectors ± Fashion, Food, Home and General Merchandise
have varied product lines, each with their own unique needs that require 30 distinct supply
chain solutions.
We have concentrated our studies on the Food supply chain management of Big Bazaar.


In the present competitive environment customers have become more demanding and asking
for quality food which guarantees the safety. n time delivery is becoming a norm to reduce
the inventory holding costs. The food industry is facing challenges due to increasing
operational complexity, frequently changing consumer needs, government regulations and
short product life cycles. It requires a very smart, efficient and agile supply chain to manage
the ever changing needs of the end customers


The food supply chain is complex and difficult to manage due to its perishable nature and
short shelf life of the products as compared to other supply chains like electronics, home
needs, consumer durables etc. It also requires a robust infrastructure of warehouses and
transportation network connecting suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
The complexity of food supply chain increases further because of the below mentioned

Food safety requirements

Regulatory requirements
Short shelf life of products leading to expiry and wastage
mProduct recalls
Product traceability requirements
Xffective handling of customer complaints
High order frequency and low volumes


It is basically categorized into two broad categories Perishable and non Perishable


In perishable supply chain the shelf life for the products is very low. It requires managing the
end to end supply chain with utmost care. The perishable supply chain typically requires a
cold chain to manage it properly. The cold chain infrastructure is very capital intensive. The
infrastructure consists of pre-coolers, temperature controlled warehouses, refrigerated
transport etc


The shelf life for the product is considerable (varying from 3-18 months). Typically
FMCG/Processed products, staples etc fall under this category. Although the shelf life of the
product is 3-18 months, the products falling under this category requires strict monitoring of
FIF at distributors end to ensure that the products reaching the end consumer are left with
enough shelf life.

        "   #

A well organized supply chain infrastructure of warehouses and transportation

covering all the major cities.
Sophisticated cold chain for perishable products which guarantees a cost efficient and
safe delivery of products
Warehouse management system to ensure traceability of products and minimize the
losses due to product expiry
mState of the art warehouse infrastructure equipped with the sophisticated material
handling equipments to aid cross docking, flow thru which will reduce transit times and
Adherence to well documented GMP at the storage locations. This would ensure food
safety in storage condition ( Warehouses)
Vehicle tracking abilities GPS/GPRS to continuously evaluate the time to
Now Big Bazaar has,

ÚGained and mastered art of managing the food supply chain due to its
association with Food Bazaar.
ÚIn house expertise to manage perishable ( Fruits and vegetables, dairy ,meat,
poultry, Bakery ) and non perishable ( FMCG-Food, Staples, Processed food)
Útate of the art warehouses across the nation which can cater to the
customized needs.
ÚA strong in-house transportation department with fleet of vehicles for every
need and type
ÚAvailability of most advanced warehouse management system which would ensure
all aspects like FIF , Lot management, product traceability, product recalls
ÚAvailability of transport management system with vehicle tracking facilities to track
product movement at every stage of transportation ( Real time visibilityh

Food supply chain of Big Bazaar can be divided into 3 categories:-

 OO  ! 

Currently, Food Bazaar stores across the country have concessionaires handling the Farm
Fresh section of their stores. The concessionaires ensure that the supply chain complexities
are reduced for the store, because they¶re in charge of the goods that they bring. ver a
period of time Big Bazaar has developed an expertise in managing this farm fresh foods
supply chain in the most efficient manner. Big Bazaar has removed the traditional mandi
route supply chain that traditionally existed in the Indian market, where fruits and vegetables
would come a long and tardy way, right from the farmers to finally reach the customers, as
depicted below.
Food Bazaar has links with farmers growing potatoes and fruits. It has also sourced produce
from farmers growing exotic vegetables like red pepper, mushroom, etc. Xarlier, agricultural
and farm products, would first be collected by aggregators in different villages, and then they
would sell the fruits and vegetables at the agricultural farm yards, who would subsequently
sell it to a wholesaler. Now semi or smaller wholesalers will buy these products from the
larger wholesalers and sell them to different smaller retailers, from where the customers
finally bought the products.

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In case of packaged foods, products are collected either from cold-storage warehouses or pre-
cooling distribution centers, from where the goods are transported to the various Big Bazaar
retail outlets via refrigerated trucks or containers.

 O %

Big Bazaar maintains the supply chain of 3 different kinds of FMCG products ± Food, Non-
food, Health & Personal care, with the latter being the latest entry into its product portfolios.
While FMCG-Food are again distributed through cold-chain networks, non-food and health
and personal care have different supply chain networks.

The FMCG-non food category items follow usual general merchandise supply chain
networks, where products are first stored from the factories to different vendors or
distribution centres, from where Big Bazaar replenishes its stock based on demand of the
Whereas, health and personal care products may or may not be subject to refrigerated
distribution. They are more or less distributed as non-food FMCG goods too.



Kishore Biyani¶s Future Group is making a vigorous push to increase its share in the fruit and
vegetables business, a category that has traditionally been an Achilles heel for the country¶s
largest retailer. The group behind supermarket chains such as Food Bazaar and Big Bazaar is
empowering the specialised entity,  $!  which will now totally manage all
the efficient supply chain for fruits and vegetables (F&V), marking a shift away from the
outsourced model it has followed so far.

Mr Biyani is betting that by putting in place new sorting and grading technologies, better cold
storage and aggressively cutting out middlemen, he can bring down the prices of fruits and
vegetables by about 15-20% across categories. "The efficiencies created by this exercise will
be passed on to the consumer," he observed.

The Future Group now outsources retailing of fruits and vegetables to vendors, who are
allowed to use space in its shops in exchange for a share of their revenue.

Mr Biyani¶s move to take direct control of the fruits and vegetables business brings to focus
the challenges faced by organised retailers in selling fresh and perishable goods. India lacks a
network of cold storages and refrigerated trucking facilities that can efficiently transport fresh
fruits and vegetables from a farm to the shop-floor while retaining its freshness.

Future Group has a separate company that handles its dry vegetables supplies as well, but the
new entity will have independent profit and loss responsibilities as well. It will rent out space
from Future Group¶s stores and separately branded counters will handle sales of fruits and

Mr. Biyani has recently anounce that he is planning to introduce the concept of freezing fruits
and vegetable prices. That means, prices of fruits and vegetables will not fluctuate throughout
the year but sold at one fixed price around the year further adding benefits for the customers.
If Big Bazaar does implements such a scheme, it will heavily depend and rely on its highly-
efficient supply chain to deliver seemless supply of products even when deamnds are very
high and cost of products very low, reaping very less profit.

In the process of setting up the retail networks, these large corporations are changing the
domestic agricultural landscape. For starters, they are introducing the Indian farmer to better
seeds, new technology, supply chain management and food processing. These companies
have already brought in technology that increases the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

Primarily, there are three models being worked on by India Inc. First, a model farm like
Bharti¶s FieldFresh. Second, contract farming. Third, contact farming. In contract farming,
the farmer is supplied seeds and other ingredients by the company. The contractor buys the
entire farm produce at a pre-fixed price. However, in case there is a supply shortage and the
price offered by the government is higher than the price contracted by the company, the
farmer can sell it all to the government.

Contact farming is a more complicated. Here, a farmer takes land on lease from other
farmers. He is generally paid Rs 15,000 per acre every year, while the marginal farmer is
employed to work on his land for which he is paid a monthly salary. But Bharti says it is
switching to contract farming because of the complexities of contact or collaborative farming.

In Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, farmers have formed cooperatives and regularly supply mangoes
to retail chains. ³We sold 35,000 tonnes of mangoes from Ratnagiri last year. The farmers
managed to get 90 per cent of the original cost,´ says Arvind Chaudhary, CX5 Pantaloon
Retail¶s food business. If they had gone to a mandi they would have realised only 70 per cent
of the cost. This year, Pantaloon¶s Food Bazaar is planning to buy 100,000 tonnes of
mangoes. The supply chain is managed such that mangoes are transported to the store a week
before they become ripe. Cold chain is used only in the case of potatoes, where 5,000 tonnes
are stocked in UP. Pantaloons food business is growing at 25 per cent in the entire Big Bazaar
chain, which also sells FMCG products.

However, there are certain issues that agro-retail chains will have to address before they can
make the farmer smile. Hurdles such as bad infrastructure, high cost logistics management,
the middleman and the limiting APMC Act will have to be crossed if retail has to assist the
farmer. Since the existing supply chain allows them to connect with only those farms that are
nearest to the cities, those living in the hinterland still have no access to markets. Importantly,
the best of these stores shy away from commenting on the investments.

There has also been a call to set up an exchange market for agricultural produce. This free
market principle, CX5s feel, will liberate the farmer in terms of actual price realisation and
keep him out of debt for the coming season. The National Spot Xxchange Limited, an
exchange which is dedicated for agri-produce, is supposed to create a benchmark even for the
small farmer who can sell only one quintal. The NSXL is in the process of setting up 117
warehouses and cold chains of 700,000 metric tonnes capacity each to make the exchange
Right now, companies are mostly dealing with farmers on the periphery of cities but analysts
say they would ultimately have to invest in cold chains and move into the interiors. Whether
companies ² except for those with deep pockets like Reliance ² will have the courage to do
that is in question. According to the confederation of Indian industry, if India has to double
fruits and vegetables production to 300 million tones by 2012, it would require pumping in
close to Rs 20,000 crore. But analysts warn that such investment may not pay dividend since
it doubles the cost of transportation.

Fung Capital, a private equity investment company of Fung families, has decided to invest
around $30 million in the logistics and supply chain arm of Kishore Biyani-led Future group.
Future Supply Chain Solutions (proposed new avatar of Future Logistic Solutions Ltd.), in
return, has agreed to divest up to 26 per cent of equity stake in favour of the private equity

Future Supply Chain Solutions, which presently sevices over 1,100 retail outlets, manages
over 2.6 million SKUs and over 3 million sq ft of warehousing network spread over 30
centres, and handles a fleet of over 500 vehicles plying across the country, will use the newly
raised capital for enhancing logistics infrastructure, strengthening technology platforms, and
expanding supply chain network of the company for its Big and Food Bazaar arms.

³We are building a world class supply chain infrastructure for the consumption products in
India which is presently very limited, despite it being a critical support required in India¶s
rapidly growing economy. We will be investing in physical as well as technology
infrastructure that will reduce the time-to-market and cost-to-market for fashion and apparel
and other consumer categories,´ said Anshuman Singh, Managing Director of Big Bazaar.

Another important future aspect of supply chain rather the biggest driver in consumer
logistics is going to be      in managing the supply chain. While infrastructure,
technology, automation, processes and people will all play an important role, zero defect can
only be achieved through vertical integration across the entire supply chain²from raw
material supply, production, wholesale and retail. The different parts of the supply chain will
no longer be able to work in silos as they do today.


Big Bazaar is the leading retail chains in the country and is growing with everyday, especially
in the food product category. With more and more new entrants into the Indian retail market,
Big Bazaar is finding it hard to squeeze out more discounts for customers than its competitors
and yet maintain profit. As such it depends heavily on a highly-efficient supply chains to
procure and deliver its products of best quality at the cheaper rates. Currently, Big Bazaar
manages 30 different supply chains spanning 4 different categories ± food, fashion, home and
general merchandising, out of which food supply chain is the most crucial, as it is the most
unorganized yet an untapped source of huge profit margins. Xven the food supply chain is
different for 3 different categories ± farm fresh products, cold-chain and FMCG products,
each having different distribution networks. Although the existing supply chains are highly
efficient but yet a lot of improvements can still be made by introducing more technologies
and IT in procurement and distribution. The future aspects of food supply chain lies on the
perils of freezing fruits and vegetable prices, vegetable stock exchange, managing the
products by themselves, partnering with dairy farms or plants, and have direct distribution
from manufacturers such as P&G, who directly distribute products to the retail shops,
eliminating distributors and wholesalers. The food supply chain especially the cold-chain
sector in India is an unexplored mine, which if explored properly, can reap gold for all
retailers, customers and farmers.