The abundance of opportunities in the Indian retail sector was discussed at TiE Retail Summit, 2008. According to the experts present, in India, there are around 15 million retail outlets that cater to the day-to-day needs of customers. They are convenient and affordable, and provide add-on services that a customer does not find in a big retail shop. However, big chains enjoy large-scale efficiencies.
Arvind Singhal, chairman, Technopak Advisors, discussed strengths and weaknesses, and the future of large retail chains in India. He also pointed out the opportunities for small and medium retailers in the country.
In his keynote session on ‘The India Story’, William Bissell, managing director, FabIndia, shared his experiences from his venture built around an India-centric philosophy. According to Bissell, “The Indian retail sector has a number of opportunities to offer, and the entrepreneurs need to look at them with a fresh perspective.”
Elaborating on ‘The learnings from Indian and western retail models’, Viney Singh, managing director of Max Hypermarkets, emphasised the need to cater to consumer patterns in the Indian markets, while nurturing the diversity to maintain connection with the local markets.
Mark Ashman, CEO, Marks and Spencer India, shared the success story of his company, and acknowledged the knowledge that the Indian market had to offer to the western giant. Commenting on the growth in the retail sector, Ashman said, “The Indian market is growing and has room for everyone, which in turn leads to greater employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Ashutosh Garg, chairman and managing director, Guardian Lifecare, highlighted the essential elements required for a start-up venture. Applying the analogy of Guardian Lifecare, he explained the factors that come into play to gain greater foothold within the local and national markets.
The Mentoring Clinic and Guru Session discussed the retention of trained manpower. This was followed by a one-on-one mentoring session with successful entrepreneurs and investors.