India’s position globally, more particularly in the Asian region, in the race for organising the retail sector, is still way behind. In India, only four per cent of the entire retail sector is organised while the figure is at least a double digit in Asian countries like China, Thailand and Singapore.
Nonetheless, India’s retail sector offers far more potential than most other countries. Observing the huge potential and opportunities therein, big overseas investors and retailers like Tesco, Carrefour, Wal-Mart, despite FDI barriers, are making efforts to step into the Indian retail space and market their services and products. At domestic levels, all the biggies, including Reliance, Bharti, Future Group and Tata, are engaged in initiating new ventures and expanding existing retail formats. Premium financial institutions such as ICICI and HDFC have also joined in the new retail movement by extending finance in retail ventures.
The potential might of India’s retail sector is not without reasons. Broadly speaking, a number of factors account for making the Indian retail sector potentially huge and viable enough to attract offshore and domestic firms, including banks. These factors include, rise in income, change in woman’s lifestyle, liberalisation and globalisation, consumerism, entrepreneurial spirit among new-age Indians, increased awareness about brands, changing lifestyles and high aspirations, improvement in rural markets and population growth, particularly of the middle-income slot.
Interesting, while the GDP contribution of the Indian retail sector is around 10 per cent, which is higher than any other country’s, employment in the sector is eight per cent. This amounts to the sector’s bigger role and responsibility in the sub-continent than other countries.
At present, the organised retail sector is in its initial stages of development. But driven by compelling needs, be they infrastructure, technology, size, manpower or quality, the sector is fast getting organised. As it grows, it will generate more revenue, more employment and upgrade its allied sectors giving a boost to the country’s economy.
But, then, what are the forces instrumental for the progress of the industry? Unarguably, they are people and organisations, for, without them, it would be difficult to even imagine the existence of the sector.
Professionals in the sector are focused on future and command the progress and development of the sector. Their contributions have elevated the sector to a never-seen-before status ushering in the ongoing revolution. Without any doubt, these visionaries have helped in shaping India for a better tomorrow. Judging by the present pace of progress, India can attain, in a couple of years, its goal of being one of the top-most global markets in the world.
What identifies a company, in most cases, is its brand, and, a brand, in a way, is an interface between the company and customers. Shoppers relate to brands more easily than to manufacturers. Today’s consumers are brand-conscious and like to buy brands that speak out their individual personalities, identities and attitudes. Brands are indeed the face of the company, and a positive image of a brand will attract customers and thereby help the company generate more revenue.
The Retailer, on the occasion of its second anniversary, has surveyed and researched Top people, Top brands and Top overseas brands in the Indian retail industry and has dedicated the issue to such pioneering personalities and the most sought-after brands in the retail industry.