Expertspeak on transforming retailing in India

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“The retail industry is promising, but to come out of some teething problems, the sector needs to focus more on supply chain constraints and issues relating to shortage of storage and distribution,” said experts at Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) retail conference in Delhi.

Speaking on ‘Transforming Retailing in India’, Vinod Sawhny, president and chief operating officer, Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd, said: “India will emerge as the sixth largest market by 2012 because of income and population growth and saving behaviour.”

He stressed that the sector will grow on the strength of rising purchasing power of the consumer, which will mainly come from the services sector. He further observed that in the future, private labels will constitute a large chunk of the organised label.

Dr Ira Kalish, director, Deloitte Research, said, “Retail evolution in India is still in a nascent stage and has a long way to go to make a mark on the global level.” Speaking on the development of retail across the world, he said, “Though a number of retailers from emerging markets are doing well, no Indian player figures on the list of top 10 Asia-Pacific retailers. India will be an attractive market despite its complexities and marketers need to adapt to Indian realities. Ability to differentiate will determine the success of a retailer,” he said.

Rajeev Karwal, founder and CEO, Milagrow, said, “Consumers are more prepared than retailers for organised retail. Retail is undergoing transformation, but we need to keep the typical Indian buyer in mind while chalking out strategy.”

Clarifying doubts on the future of traditional retail in India, he said, “If organised retail can grow at 30 per cent, mom-and-pop stores should also expect a 20 per cent growth.”

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