India’s largest retailer Future Group has reassigned roles of its top executives to push new businesses such as high-end supermarket and catalogue retailing, as well as to fill the void created by the sudden demise of Future Value Retail CEO Raghu Pillai.
Under the new structure, Damodar Mall, director for food strategy at the group, has additional responsibilities of rural retailing venture Aadhaar and high-end supermarket Food Hall. Rajan Malhotra, president of retail strategy, has additional charge of electronics retail format e-Zone and small neighbourhood supermarket format KB’s Fair Price.
Devendra Chawla, head of Future’s private brands business, will now oversee the overall food and FMCG category as president, while Vibha Rishi, group strategy and consumer director, will also look after the new catalogue retailing format ‘New Zone’ as its CEO.
“When there are new projects or incubation, there is a need for leadership to shape up the business initially,” said Mall. “In the next level of growth, newer business has to synergise with each other if we have to achieve our strategy,” he added. The group has an internal strategy called Vision 20-20 to reach $20 billion turnover by 2020 and Raghu Pillai was to play an instrumental role in executing the strategy.
Future Group plans to grow emerging businesses such as consumer durables, food and online retail manifold to achieve its 20-20 target. Till now, it made a fortune selling mass priced products, primarily in the apparels and consumer products space. Analysts say the retailer has made changes primarily in those verticals.
“Apart from food, they have also been focusing on online retail to offset real estate cost constraint and at the same time, capture the urban consumer behaviour trend,” said Sangeeta Mehta, senior analyst at Sharekhan Broking. Analysts also feel that most of the new ventures are in line with their strategy to increase food sales to more than half of its total business, from less than 35% now, over the next four years. Food segment generates cash quickly without needing much working capital as compared to apparel and consumer durables.
Source : Economic Times