At a seminar on “Access to Retail Market in India” Joint Managing Director of Future Retail and Co-Founder of Future Group, Rakesh Biyani, said that the Future Group aims to reach a turnover of $15 billion in the next five years from the current $3.5 billion.
The aim of the seminar, which was organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on 14 March, was to learn more about India’s retail market and related business opportunities and challenges. Over 140 well known business personalities attended the event, held in Hong Kong.
“Future Group, which is now one of the largest retail groups in India, with 5,200 retail outlets including department stores and specialty stores in more than 240 cities, covering consumer goods including food, fashion and cosmetics reported a turnover of US$3.5 billion in 2016 and expects this to reach US$15 billion in the next five years,” Biyani said.
“Currently we have close to 20 million square feet of retail space in operation in India. And we’re looking to expand our network by 14-15 per cent per annum. So that’s adding about another two to three million square feet of new retail space every year,” he added, on the expanding retail space in India.
“India is the fastest growth economy in the world,” he said, adding that the population of influential consumers will grow to between 350 million and 400 million by 2020, which is similar to the entire population of the United States.
“There are lots of people in India who are looking for differentiated products. Meanwhile, there’re more than 30 million retail stores in India, which is about one store for every 100 people. This is where the challenges come from,” he pointed out. “The retail market has been changing.”
He projected that the amount of value-added products his company will import in the next five years will rise by nearly 200 per cent.
Biyani also noted that affluent consumers are shifting from daily necessities to fashion, accessories, beauty and electronic products. Their higher disposable income now gives them the ability to buy quality products at competitive and affordable prices. He said he was confident his company’s import margins would rise, largely because it caters to this aspirational consumer base.
And he said that Hong Kong would be an ideal business partner for Future Group to achieve its goals, as well as for retail companies across India.
“Hong Kong typically tends to be trendier and more quality-oriented,” he said. “Hong Kong now is really the place for sourcing entry level, good priced products in the better and best category, that’s where Hong Kong has the opportunity and we are now very keen to expand our share of those products. And we think we can work with Hong Kong manufacturers,” Biyani concluded.