“Club of Knowledge Hunters”

Organized retail to reach US$70bn by 2011: Nokia India head

Posted by superstar23 on September 19, 2008

penetration of organized retail in India across categories will grow and the percentage of growth is likely to vary

The second day of India Retail Forum (IRF) 2008, India’s largest retail congregation, kickstarted with a discussion on various issues faced by retailers and the strategies to overcome them. ‘What do shoppers really want’ was the topic of a round table conference anchored by  John A Strachan, Head of Global Retail, Cushman & Wakefield, UK.

Speaking on the needs of today’s shoppers, Jonathan Banks, Business Insight Director, The Nielsen Company, UK elaborated on the four mega trends that the retailers today are focusing on – convenience and practicality, indulgence and pleasure, ethics and enhancement in health and well being.

Giving an insight on `The winning retail strategy’, D Shivakumar, VP and MD, Nokia said, “The overall Indian retail landscape is getting more organized and sophisticated with close to 12mn retail outlets. Organized retail is expected to grow at 42% to reach US$70bn by 2011. Also, penetration of organized retail in India across categories will grow and the percentage of growth is likely to vary.”

He further added,” The challenges we face in Indian retail are branding, inadequate understanding of the shopper, surplus labor but a dearth of talent and incompetent supply chain management. He concluded, “We are moving on from an era of independent growth to an era of dependant growth. Indian retail is going to explode and by 2011 it will be bigger than the telecom industry”

Steve Gilman, Chairman, Big Idea, UK spoke about `the challenges of being profitable in India and the lessons India can learn from China.’ He compared the current retail scenario between India and China elaborating on the 4 P’s – Politics, People, Property and Products which eventually lead to Profit.

Speaking about the trends in private labels, Paul Martin, Global Sales Manager, Planet Retail, UK said, “The prime factors for growth of private labels in the international market have been highly developed and concentrated markets and the entry of international players.” Zeroing in on the Indian market, he said, “Indian retail has adopted the best practices from various parts of the world and the established India players like Reliance and Bharti have been able to build trust for their companies”.

The session on – Health & Wellness – presented by Manipal Cure and Care saw the launch of a book on QCI Standards in Health and Wellness. The first of its kind book was presented to RK Srivastava, DG, Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI by Girdhar Gyani, Secretary General, Quality Council of India. Addressing the captains of the health and wellness industry, Srivastava spoke about the importance of collaboration between the private and the public sector for the overall growth of the health and wellness industry while stressing on the need for quality control and prevention.

On the inaugural day, discussing the future of organized retail in India, Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak, said,”The best period for retail in India is the forthcoming years. Between 2009 -2013 the retail industry will expand and consolidate exponentially as compared to 2003 -2008. By 2013 most of the global or MNC retailers will be present in India.” Concluding the session, Bijou Kurien, President and CEO, Reliance Lifestyle Holdings said that the modern Indian retail, which is currently experiencing a steep learning curve, will reach a crescendo.

Earlier in the post lunch session the esteemed panelists discussed Hypermart: Experience and Learning. The session began with the panelists agreeing that some of the challenges faced in the dynamic retail industry, today, are the weak supply chain management, poor infrastructure, need for newer product categories and most importantly the right people to run the retail business.

Elaborating on the challenges, Rakesh Biyani, CEO, Future Retail, said “The challenge lies in bigger cities. The real estate costs in India are not in sync with the productivity. Also, energy cost which is 300 % in India is significantly higher than anywhere in the world”. Divulging his immediate expansion plans he said, “We are planning to launch 35-40 stores every year and by June 2009, approximately 140 stores will be up and running. We also plan to experiment with new formats in terms of sizes”.

Stressing on the need for the right kind of talent in the retail industry, Viney Singh, MD, Max Hypermarkets, said, “Training is an important aspect of the retail industry. There are many challenges in the shop floor level and it is important to impart continuous training to get maximum productivity from the staff. The customers will always demand more value, as they are looking for a better shopping experience.”

The session What could be the future concepts? saw the panelists agreeing that it is the consumers who will decide the future of retail. “Retail is no rocket science. It is about meeting customer needs. You need to constantly adapt yourself, keeping into account the current needs of the consumers. Differentiation is going to be the key, to stand out in the clutter. Also, modern retail will bring down the number of steps between the farmers and consumers. There will be less wastage and the consumer will benefit from better quality products.” Giving an insight into the future Rajiv Agarwal, CEO & Director, Essar Telecom Retail, added, “Retailing from a mobile phone could be the future of retailing in India”.

source:- india infoline


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