Subhiksha head honcho is IRF’08 chair

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India Retail Forum (IRF), arguably the country’s largest congregation of retail minds, has a new chairman on board. The Forum, for the year 2008, will see R Subramaniam, the managing director of Subhiksha, control its reins.

Handing over the charges to Subramaniam, V Vaidyanathan, executive director of ICICI Bank and the chairman of IRF 07, said, “My last duty as Chairman of Indian Retail Forum 2007 is to hand over the reins to a representative of the industry who will lift the Forum to greater heights. It is my proud privilege to welcome Mr R Subramanian, as the Chairman of IRF’08. Mr Subramanian has kindly accepted the mandate of his industry counterparts, and will chair the 2008 edition of the magnum opus of Indian retail, where the retail world comes together to understand and explore the world’s most lucrative retail market.”

As per the IRF, the decision was taken in sync with the views and choices of the entire industry. “After getting the views of over 250 industry captains, one name stood out. When Mr Subramaniam was nominated by Bijou Kurien, president and CEO, Reliance Lifestyle Holdings, and seconded jointly by Sanjiv Goenka, vice chairman, RPG Group and Mr. B S Nagesh, MD, Shopper’s Stop, the opinion of the industry leaders became clear,” informs Vaidyanathan.

Inviting the industry to support him in his new role, Subramaniam stated, “I hope that I shall have the industry’s support to make IRF ’08 relevant for retailers. Let us all combine efforts to make this the magnum opus of Indian retail as no one else can better execute it than us.”

New Partners

Meanwhile, industry bodies including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Retailers Association of India (RAI) and Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI) have joined hands with the IRF.

Speaking on this partnership, Kishore Biyani, chairman, CII National Committee – Retail and the founder and CEO of Future Group, said, “IRF’s invite to CII to partner with the largest congregation of retail minds — offering the forum to discuss the issues with the industry at large – was well timed and much appreciated. Indeed the meet will provide us a much larger and an ideal platform for a more meaningful dialogue and partnership with the industry to subsequently chart out a detailed action plan for CII initiatives in retail.”

“The power and passion of the IMAGES team push all of us to converge at this great platform to share, learn and evolve. IRF this year has the support of all major bodies including Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Retailers Association of India (RAI) and Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI) and indeed IRF has emerged as the perfect platform for trade bodies and industry captains to meet, discuss and find a common agenda to work for the growth of the industry,” says Subramaniam.

“IRF is all about sharing, learning and evolving together, and is recognised as a global standard. Mr. Subramanian is the ideal chairman to make this huge business, knowledge and networking platform even more relevant for the participants. I invite the entire retail fraternity to join me in extending all support to Mr Subramanian in making IRF ’08 a huge success,” Vaidyanathan stated.

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