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Kishore Biyani of Future Group will galvanise retail thoughts at IRF 2007

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“As India emerges as one of the most potential markets and retail reinvents the way modern Indians celebrate their spending power, India – a nation that takes pride in its rich culture, heritage, art, craft and variety of wares – must capitalise on this ever-escalating consumerism and channelise the spending towards healthy consumption for overall development of the country. I look forward to discussing retail economics for India with the world visionaries and thought leaders at India Retail Forum,” is the preamble from Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group, a few days before he addresses his audience at the event. His discourse on September 6 will revolve around ‘Retailing in India: The Story Yet to Unfold’.

Also managing director of the group’s flagship company, Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, Biyani has led Pantaloon Retail’s emergence as India’s leading retailer operating multiple retail formats. He led the company’s foray into organised retail with the opening of the Pantaloons family store in 1997. This was followed in 2001 with the launch of Big Bazaar, a uniquely Indian hypermarket format. It blends the look, touch and feel of Indian bazaars with such aspects of modern retail as choice, convenience and quality. Subsequently, a number of other formats were launched by the company, including Food Bazaar, Central, Home Town and the online portal, Headquartered in Mumbai, the group operates around 6 million square feet of retail space, has over 450 stores across 42 cities in India, and employs over 20,000 people.

Future Group now operates multiple companies in the areas of retail, insurance, consumer credit, capital, mall and property management, consumer brands, logistics and retail media. Future Capital Holdings, the group’s financial arm, focuses on asset management and consumer credit. It manages assets worth over $1.2 billion, which are being invested in developing retail real estate and consumer-related brands and hotels. The group has launched a consumer credit and financial supermarket format, Future Money, and soon plans to offer insurance products with its joint venture Generali.

Some of the other group companies of Future Group include Home Solutions Retail (India) Limited, Indus League Clothing and Galaxy Entertainment. Future Group’s joint venture partners include Italian insurance major Generali, French retailer ETAM group, US-based stationary products retailer Staples Inc., UK-based Lee Cooper, UK-based airport retailer Alpha Airports, Indonesia-based Planet Retail, UAE-based communications product retailer Axiom, and Singapore-based property management company, CapitaLand. The group’s Indian joint venture partners include Talwalkar’s, Blue Foods and Liberty Shoes.

Biyani was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 – Services, and the Lakshmipat Singhania-IIM Lucknow Young Business Leader Award by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in 2006. Pantaloon Retail was awarded International Retailer of the Year 2007 by US-based National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade body, as also the Emerging Retailer of the Year at the World Retail Congress held in Barcelona in March 2007.

Biyani, born in August 1961, recently authored a book, ‘It Happened In India’, which encapsulates his entrepreneurial journey and the growth of modern retailing in India.

India Retail Forum 2007 will be hosted with global industry participation on September 4-6, at the Renaissance in Mumbai.

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