Indian Retail Congress 2014

Big retail themes of the year
Indian Retail Congress 2014

Indian Retail Congress (IRC) is the largest ‘platform’ to exchange ideas, insights, and to predict the trends that will define future.

Though not specifically highlighted in as many words, but retail is the sunshine sector of India, and has been the fastest growing over the last few years. The Indian retail industry, which comprises both organised and unorganised sectors, is currently estimated at US$ 500 billion.

As the sector is largely shifting towards the modern concept of retailing; this industry continues to go through a period of seismic change, full of challenges and opportunities.

Today, retailers and e-retailers face changes in many areas, and while it is a competitive industry, there are still best practice to be shared, and helpful information to be gained from peers. The Indian Retail and Indian eRetail Congress 2014, to be held on April 25-26 in Gurgaon, promises to be an invaluable source of information and inspiration, with plenty of opportunity to participate in discussions.

We highlight this year’s big themes, including:

The big shift to modern retail

Many international retailers, who have entered India, have highlighted their views on the diversity of the local market, and growth challenges. And despite, India’s murky FDI retail policies, vague international e-commerce laws, huge entry bottlenecks and red tap, multinationals and global corporations view India as one of the key markets from where future growth will emerge.

Global retailers have captured the shift in the Indian consumer, right from denial to indulgence over the last five years. Today, retailers can take advantage of this growth opportunity by diversifying, as well as introducing new formats and paying more attention to the brand building process.

The Indian consumption market will grow two-and-a-half times to Rs 110 trillion (US$ 1.96 trillion) by 2025, according to a Kotak Institutional Equities report, which classifies Indian households into real-rich, upper class, prospering, evolving, emerging and surviving.

Consumer experience is the key to young India

With the most critical factor, namely consumption growing, the emphasis for the retail industry is to streamline their operations and meet the emerging consumer behaviour patterns.

Today, retailers and brand owners need to be in tune with changing trends and ideas, and help their business stay one step ahead, by keeping in contact with all stakeholders ranging from landlords, suppliers and analysts.

As routes to the market are changing with the multi-channel strategy becoming en vogue, retailers need to focus on strategies that help them grow and adapt to the emerging trends.

Getting into digital retailing

Up until year 2005, most Indians did not even much about e-commerce, and in less than a decade, the face of retail has changed, and today every retailer and consumer product company wants to capitalise on the enormous opportunities online.

While everyone agrees that e-retail is an evolution, and not a revolution, today anyone selling online can vouch that 6-7% of their turnover is derived online. And, it’s the younger consumers who are increasingly shopping online, and they are the core customers. As a result, e-commerce companies are set to capture around 18 per cent of the country's organised retail market, up from their current share of about 8 per cent.

Whatever your main areas of interest, IRC is likely to cover them all. With discussions and presentations on everything from mobile to the evolution of marketing and evolving shopping habits, the event is the most comprehensive of its kind.

The attendees will find themselves at the heart of retail’s big debates and most important discussions, and hear about the most advanced retailing practices.

For anyone interested in growth in retail business, this event is a must.

 

New government needs to cut import duties, says Vikram Raizada of Tara Jewels

Indian retail is on the cusp of strong growth. Nevertheless, several obstacles act as ‘roadblocks’, and the potential is not fully realised. Kindly share your views?

The new government needs to pay immediate attention to the high import duties currently levied on gold imports. In addition, to promote organised retail in the jewellery segment, the government should make it mandatory for retailers to offer certification of diamond jewellery.  

Consumer needs have evolved considerably over the past few years, and the total expenditure incurred by them has also grown. How are you responding?

The lifestyle segment including jewellery has grown considerably over the past few years, and customers increasingly prefer ‘trendy’ products and brands.

What will drive the domestic retail sector over the long-term?

The demand for diamond jewellery has grown considerably over the past few years, in both metros and smaller towns. As a result, a number of international brands have entered the local market.

I would also like to highlight that jewellery is becoming an integral part of a ‘fashion statement’, and it is not just viewed as an investment.

Omni-channel is en vogue. How will it help to ensure a better experience to customers?

We are currently present in the brick-and-mortar format, and are planning to offer our products online, shortly.

New government should have a holistic view, DK Jairath of Style Spa

Indian retail is on the cusp of strong growth. Nevertheless, several obstacles act as ‘roadblocks’, and the potential is not fully realised. Kindly share your views?

The availability of high quality retail space at ‘suitable’ rentals along with reaching the right target audience are the key factors that retailers need to focus on, in a bid to achieve their long-term objectives. In addition, the retail sector has not got ‘industry’ status, and it has impacted the quantum of investments planned.

I am optimistic that the new government would attempt to rectify the above problems along with taking a more ‘balanced’ view regarding FDI.

Consumer needs have evolved considerably over the past few years, and the total expenditure incurred by them has also grown. How are you responding?

Clearly, the consumer-related category has grown manifold over the past few years, and not only are shoppers well aware of key trends, but they are demanding a combination of value as well as ‘lifestyle’ in their purchase decision.

What will drive the domestic retail sector over the long-term?

The retail industry is seeing the entry of new participants, and at the same time, growth in segments like food and grocery (F&G) along with consumer staples has been quite strong.

I do believe that once consumers are more optimistic, an expansion in sales of CDIT products appears likely.

Omni-channel is en vogue. How will it help to ensure a better experience to customers?

An omni- channel strategy is becoming the norm, and we have created synergies between our online presence and brick-and-mortar store network. 
 

We need to resolve GST, Ashutosh Garg of Guardian Pharmacy

What critical bottlenecks have to be overcome, in a bid to enable modern retail to grow to its maximum potential? Further, what are your expectations from the new government?

For retail to grow, we need to resolve the GST-related matter, as it will ensure that the movement of goods within the country is far easier. In addition, the new government will need to focus on FDI in retail, as without access to capital, this fledgling sector will continue to struggle.

Please comment on the changing consumption scenario over the last one year?

Consumers have been rather careful over the past two years, at a time when the economy has slowed.

How can retailers leverage the multi-channel strategy for growth?

Retailers need to focus on a combination of brick-and-mortar stores along with online operations, in a bid to stay in tune with emerging consumer purchase patterns.

What is your growth outlook for the sector?

A stable new government with the right policies would help modern retail to grow rapidly. This, in turn, will make India one of the most exciting retail markets in the world.

 

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