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Fearless retailing

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Cooperate, innovate, upgrade and keep offering new products to survive and meet up to the levels of big retail giants, Anuj Puri of JLL Meghraj suggested to the unorganised retailers, while addressing the session on “fearless retailing” at The Shop, Delhi.

Puri quoted examples of countries like Thailand that have seen good growth in the retail sector, as also of HLL’s initiative, and related the motivating story of Rajkot, where small retailers have united to face the big giants with innovating strategies. Puri also cited the instance of Jumbo King, which sells vada pav at just Rs 5 and has found place in malls and other organised retail environments. He insisted that there’s enough room for the unorganised retailers – they are in majority and will be in majority for years to come.

Pranay form Select Mall highlighted the issues that the retail boom has brought in and that, in turn, may create fear. He pointed out that there’s a need for better infrastructure for organised retail to grow, and also indirectly pointed a finger at the inefficiency of the government in some aspects. The need of alternate employment opportunities in the organised sector for those with experience in unorganised retail was also highlighted.

Pranay also insisted that there are threats not only for unorganised retailers, but also for the organised lot. He recounted the breaking and burning of Reliance Fresh and KFC stores in scattered parts of the country.

Media analyst Rohit Bansal agreed that the media has a big role to play, and sensitive issues like a group of traditional retailers marching against the upcoming organised chains cannot be ignored – but good analysis and positive interpretations of such incidents can make a difference.

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