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Out of the box entirely

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Hemchandra Javeri, Madura Garments, came up with an out-of-the-box presentation to prove how unique concepts and innovations come in – and how the industry is selling not just products and services, but also an experience. Discussing unique concepts, Javeri quoted examples of international retail chains like Starbucks, which offer an experience of music along with coffee – one can burn CDs while sipping coffee.

Javeri also discussed such unique concepts as e-choupals, cellphone retail chains, and English speaking institutes that originated in the country. He highlighted some popular Indian products like the vada pao, which have potential to sell better if brought within an organised retail environment.

Throwing light on the latest gadgets, gizmos and equipments, Javeri insisted on implementation of latest technology that can make retailing friendly not only for retailers but also the consumers. He quoted examples of RFIDs, which can track a product from the manufacturing unit to the shelves, and help quicker replacement on the racks; and of electronic trolleys that can keep count of what the consumer has bought as also the total price of the consumer’s basket. Another example is of consumer-friendly electronic weighing machines that can help a consumer weigh his goods himself, especially in the case of fruits and vegetables.

Javeri concluded by motivating the audience to keep innovating their thoughts and ideas, and to improvise primarily the experience along with the product, ambience and service.

Somewhat on the same line, Dr Alo Ghosh, Techna, said that for a customer, the experience for consuming products is more important. Holding forth on supply chain and logistics, Ghosh said that most of the technology available for retail is free and there is no rocket science involved in retailing. He gave the well-known example of Zara, which became successful by using “exclusivity”. Zara manufactured little and successfully altered the cycles of products frequently. It is today the most profitable womenswear brand in the world.

Ghosh also spoke about e-retailing. Compared to the world, e-retailing in India is minimal. Ghosh stressed on the need to have third-party logistics in order to cut costs. He said logistics and supply are available as services, and brands must strive to utilise this facility instead of doing it themselves.

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