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Challenges for Indian Retailers

October 23, 2008


At the BuildUp 2008 conference in Bangalore, Retailers discussed the various challenges ahead of them. The consensus was, Retail cannot develop unless infrastructure develops.

Mr. Suresh, President of Reliance Retail Infrastructure said,

India should encourage FDI in retail. There is a requirement for new brand to sustain consumer interest. Retailers should increase the experiential component and use more of individualized marketing.

Have Indian malls becoming a boring place ? So thinks Raghunandan of Capita Retail Prestige Mall,

There is no differentiation, no positioning and no consumer insights in retailing in India. It is a long haul exercise, you need to dig in to stay.

Mr. Suresh and Raghu had a consensus on pricing of the rentals at malls and were of the opinion that the aucion system will not work anymore. Revenue sharing model should be the preferred one and rentals be re-negotiated.

We don’t hear much complaint / critic from Future / Pantaloon Group. I recall having read in Mr. Biyani’s autobiography about an incidence where he explains how sales wasn’t picking up when the store was an exact replica like in the western world. Later when they gave an Indian tinch to it [half arranged / organized], the sales started moving up. Maybe Biyani has decades of more retailing experience than the rest.

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