The eighth edition of Indian retail and e-retail congress(IReC) took place on 16th and 17th April at JW Marriott New Delhi. Alike to every year, this year too the show witnessed huge attendance from Indian retail and e-retail fraternity. The entire two days were lined up with many knowledge series which saw great participation from industry veterans. The day one began with welcome note presented by Ritu Marya, Editor-in-Chief, Franchise India & Entrepreneur Media. The welcome note was followed by the keynote presentations from Samir Modi, Executive Director, Modi Enterprises and Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India.
Stressing the vitality of brick and mortar retail, Samir Modi said in his opening speech, “The concept of O2O collaboration i.e online to offline and offline to online is here to stay. E-commerce might not be the necessity but certainly, Internet is, as it emerging as a tool to drive business. The usage of Internet leads to access various coupon, loyalty schemes etc which ultimately prompt the customers to visit the physical stores in order to redeem them.”
In the opening speech, Krish Iyer stressed that excellent customer service is the core element of Walmart across the country. Going further Iyer said, “It is not about offline, online and omnichannel. It is always about the customers as they are the Boss. Walmart continues to serve hundred and millions of customers every week in 28 countries spread across five continents. Intense customer focus has kept us going despite various disruptions which are happening globally. In fact, Walmart India is embarked upon a journey rediscover customer value proposition. Also, Walmart India is committed to empower small resellers and empower the Kirana to serve their customers well.
After these interesting keynote presentations, the conference headed towards fireside chat with Vineet Gautam, CEO, Bestseller India on creating stores that speak to your brand values. During the conversation, he said, “Indian customers are still apprehensive as far as fast fashion is concerned. Moreover, geographically India is a huge country with so many different perceptions. Also, we have people living outside the country and they tend to have their perception towards the brand which is completely different. To match up all is the biggest challenge for me.
Going further Gautam added, “The time we came that was the transition period, the market was changing very dynamically. And, the digital push really helped the brand in gaining the momentum.”
After the fireside chat, Arvind Varchaswi, MD, Sri Sri Tattva shared his opinions on how FMCG and retail can work together to better serve the customer. While delivering the keynote speech, Varchaswi said, “We encourage local entrepreneurs to take our product and nooks and corner of the country. For now, we have 500 entrepreneurs in the country and by the year end, we are expected to have 2500 rural entrepreneurs. It is important in retail to know what is necessary for a particular region. Based on the local analysis we work on the distribution model.”
Varchaswi also informed that the company is shortly entering into the franchising model, and plans to have more than 1000 stores over next two years.