World’s best brains on retail to gather at IRF

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The count down begins. It is just three days to go to see the world’s top-notch retailers and professionals brainstorming at The Renaissance, Mumbai during the India Retail Forum (IRF); organised to explore new avenues of retail.

In their pre-conclave note, the IRF chairman and the heads of three major partners Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Retailers Association of India (RAI) and Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) threw light on the importance of IRF in this booming retail scenario.

R Subramanian, managing director, Subhiksha and chairman, IRF, says, “The three-day event will be an excellent opportunity for our international guests to get a feel of Indian retailing. IRF, the country’s premier and widest assemblage of top-notch professionals from the retail and allied support service industries, is strategically placed to offer innovative retail concepts and the best modes of expanding and profiting through the right partners.”

Kishore Biyani, chief executive officer, Future Group and chairman, CII national committee, says, “Modern retail in India is increasingly playing a larger role in the economy through increasing tax collection, spurring consumption and economic growth, creating public spaces in urban India and large scale employment generation among lesser educated and lesser privileged youth. The IRF, in partnership with the CII, will create a common platform for the retail industry to explore new opportunities, possibilities and scope for innovation.”

Neel C Raheja, director, K Raheja Corporation and chairman, SCAI, says, “Like any nascent industry, the Indian shopping centre industry too has its share of growth pains. The SCAI will help provide a platform to this rapidly growing industry to not only sort out issues and challenges commonly faced by the industry players but also to make a significant contribution in the evolution of a structured shopping centre industry in India. Associating with IRF would have the added advantage of making the entire retailing community a closer knit family.”

Inviting retailers for the IRF grand finale, BS Nagesh, managing director, Shoppers Stop and chairman, RAI, says, “We have opened store after store and are in the process of opening many more. Let us pause for a while for a reality check – Are our customers happy? Are our employees happy? Are our vendors happy? Are our stakeholders happy? Are we happy? The answer for all these questions ought to be ‘YES’ but in reality it is ‘NO’ for some. Where have we gone wrong? What do we have to do? It’s time to share, reveal, reconcile and find ways to amend … and to open up, debate, consolidate and collaborate thoughts before we take the next step.”

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