Indian retailers are upbeat once again as consumption picks up indicating more money coming in to the hands of customers. Researchers say that private consumption continues to grow at double digit – Rs18 trillion projected for 2010 and that modern retail is expected to further spur consumption and catalyse speedier economic growth while technology brings in efficiencies in every sphere of retail and distribution.
These will be the broad agenda at India’s mega retail convention, India Retail Forum (IRF) ’09, scheduled on 16th & 17th September at the Renaissance, Mumbai.
“Aptly themed ‘Retail for India Tomorrow’, IRF intends to prepare us for a better tomorrow,” says, B S Nagesh, chairman, IRF ’09. Calling upon all stake holders in retail businesses and policy makers to join retailers and discuss every possibility of collaboration for growth, Nagesh says, “This probably is the best opportunity when all of us have learned to be more efficient, conserve and yet deliver more. Mall developers are looking at retailers as partners to give them revenue share options.”
Supported by all major bodies including Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Retailers Association of India (RAI) and Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI), IRF will see over 200 thought leaders from across the globe sharing their vision and views with some 1000 captains of the industry. “The 2009 edition of IRF gains special significance as it presents live learning from the market that has the potential for growth backed with a strong consumption base and positive economic indicators”, says Amitabh Taneja, chief convenor, IRF.
‘No Stopping India!’ will be title of one-on-one session with Kishore Biyani, founder & CEO, Future Group. Talking about his expectations from this edition of IRF, Biyani says, “Consumer brands, retailers, shopping and leisure centres – each one of us – would have a lot to share at the India Retail Forum and also discuss how together we can increase domestic consumption.”
IRF ‘09 edition brings with it extensive interactions among the captains of the industry with as many as 10 CEOs Conclaves and Retail intersected in all verticals. Titled as ‘Retail Power Tracks’, the CEOs conclaves will see top retailers from each of the 10 key retail verticals joining in to discuss challenges and strategise growth with collaborative efforts, discussing key issues, identifying problems and possible solutions through collaborative efforts. All this in addition to the IRF plenary sessions with visionaries, Q&As, evening and morning workshops and sessions with motivational speakers, outstanding achievers and performers extraordinaire.
Development head of Wal-Mart, Robert Stoker and Former Tesco chief Gordon Reid will join chiefs of Big Bazaar, Spencer’s Retail, retail division of ITC, Reliance Retail and Aditya Birla Retail in ‘sub lease’ workshop to explore shop-in-shop opportunities for retailers in hyper markets to offer a wider choice to consumers and also effectively utilise large retail spaces.
Other highlights of the IRF this year will be the Conclaves of CII, SCAI, RAI, Multiplex Operators & IT majors.
IRF will culminate with the IMAGES Retail Awards, an evening packed with enthralling entertainment alongside the award presentation by industry captains and celebrities from India and abroad.
The CII Conclave will focus on ‘Funding in Retail’. “With experts in funding & FDI, the conclave will discuss about the urgent need for funding in the retail industry, the current approach of the bankers to retail lending, the specialist view of FDI funding particularly in the context of the Press Note 3 released this year by the government and the way forward to facilitate easy access to funds for the retail sector,” reveals Thomas Varghese, chairman, CII National Committee on Retail and chief executive, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd.
IT has made its impact on a prerequisite for any retailer expecting to scale up. The IT Conclave and the workshop on ‘Business Intelligence’ will discuss the relevance, implementation, success and cost effectiveness of IT innovations that may impact customers and retailers including SMEs.
The Multiplex Operators Conclave will see India’s all major multiplex chain owners to come on one platform to discuss how cinema and shopping can add more life to the busy man of today.
The IRF ’09 concluding session, the RAI Conclave would have lot more expectations from retail leaders on stage in terms of defining the future for retail in India. Co-anchored by IRF Chairman, B S Nagesh, vice chairman, Shoppers Stop, and chairman of Retailers Association of India together with retail industry veteran Vikram Bakshi, the finale will have India’s top 20 retailers on stage to chart out the road map for ‘Retail for India Tomorrow’.
Discussing his thoughts on the possible direction of deliberations of the conclave, Bakshi says, “Government has set the tone for building and growing the consumer base in the country. Much of this growth is expected to come from the new markets in India.”
IRF will conclude with the grand finale, IMAGES RETAIL AWARDS felicitating best performers in retail, outstanding professionals and concepts.
— IndiaRetailing Bureau