eCommerce is exciting and clearly gives us an avenue to grow: Rajeev Krishnan

Retailer Media caught up with Rajeev Krishnan, Managing Director of Max Hypermarkets India to know more about his plans to direct the strategy and execution of the Hypermarket & Supermarket business of the SPAR Brand in India.
Rajeev Krishnan, Managing Director, Max Hypermarkets

Landmark Group, since inception, has been known for running a vigorous India-centric business strategy to increase the footfall in their departmental stores. A multi-channel business model with an unmatched international experience and a seamless supply chain network has always played a crucial role in giving rich dividends to its revenue.

Since the company’s tie-up with SPAR, a Dutch food retailer that plans to open 20 stores as its licensee by 2019, there is really a little to doubt what Landmark Group has achieved in retailing. The company has recently appointed Rajeev Krishnan, an Ex-McKinsey Senior Advisor (Retail) to further strategise and execute Spar’s profitable growth in India in the hypermarket and supermarket space.

Sahil from Retailer Media caught up with Rajeev Krishnan, Managing Director of Max Hypermarkets India to know more about his plans to direct the strategy and execution of the Hypermarket & Supermarket business of the SPAR Brand in India.

What drove the transition from McKinsey to Landmark Group? 
I have been a retailer all my life and the opportunity to be part of the growth story with Spar and Landmark Group was exciting. I have always been passionate about running a retail business as the challenge of engaging, influencing and impacting a customer’s buying habits is incredible.

Put some light on the responsibilities you have been given at the Landmark Group
I will continue to drive the strategy and execution of Spar’s profitable growth in India in the hypermarket and supermarket space. We will continue our journey of being the retailer of choice for our customers in the areas we serve by leveraging our strengths.

How to you plan to expand SPAR Hypermarkets in the country, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities?
Our business and growth strategy will be tied to our past and current performance, customer demographics and our ability to drive profitability. We will explore all the markets where we feel we can make a difference for the customer and be financially productive.

What according to you are the verticals with maximum potential for SPAR?
As a Hypermarket we will continue to build on our current strengths around Food and FMCG, General Merchandise & Home as well as Apparel. We will continue to explore all the opportunities to excite our customers within these categories and be the destination of choice for them

Share your thought on government’s approval on 24*7 retailing and how to you plan to capitalise on the same? 
It is good to see the government reviewing policies that will improve the success of retail businesses across the country. For now this will not have an immediate impact on our business due to the location and formats we have.

How do you see eCommerce, as a challenge or an extension to retail?
Every change, adaption or creation in retail is an extension of the customers wants, needs and desires. eCommerce is no different and as the world continues to evolve a change, so will retail with eCommerce being that extension the past few years. It is exciting and clearly gives the brick and mortar retailers an avenue to explore and grow.

What are your plans towards tapping into the millennial consumers?
India will have the youngest population for the next few decades and it will be our endeavour to find categories, assortment and products that excite the millennial consumers. Constant innovation, adaptation and understanding of this customer group will be critical in our building a loyal base with them.

How do you plan to strengthen SPAR Hypermarket’s omni-channel play?
Omni channel already is and will be a strong part of the retail growth story across India. We will continue to develop and innovate in this space based on our strengths and ability to create a differentiated proposition for our customer

What revenue do you target for SPAR Hypermarket in the coming 3-4 years?
Our aim is to continue to open stores as per the earlier growth plans in markets that we feel comfortable and be financially viable. Our growth internally has been very exciting and we intend to continue on the same trajectory.

Many brands are investing in customer loyalty programs, how are you channeling that aspect? While it is one of the most critical elements in the retail business, having an effective and credible customer centric loyalty connect is more important than just having some programs. Our own Landmark Rewards program has been very critical in helping us develop our customer loyalty base and we intend to continue to utilize that relationship and develop a very effective and solid relationship for years to come.

Rajeev Krishnan
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