Home Retail Time to go to basics: Kishore Biyani at IFF ’09

    Time to go to basics: Kishore Biyani at IFF ’09


    Darlie Koshy, immediate past chairman, IFF and DG (E&T) APEC aptly termed IFF as the flagship event of the fashion industry. The 1st session at IFF ’09 began with Anish Trivedi, anchor for IFF ’09 asking the audience not to get moved down by the current economic slowdown and instead use the threats as opportunities.

    The chairman for IFF ’09, in his observation stated how it was difficult to formulate a thorough business plan in wake of fluctuating prices across real estate, oil and gas. Singhania went on to add that China and India were the two emerging markets of the world which not only create demand but also drive consumption since both countries together accounted for a good 30-35 per cent of the world population. Singhania said, “Where China will drive quantity, India will take care of the quality. There is no competition as such between the two countries as these two countries are the future of the world markets.”

    Talking about the biggest challenge that retailers faced as of date; the poster boy of Indian retail industry said, “It is about sustaining and generating demand.” He mentioned that the industry size is huge hence the potential in the market was enough for everyone to make best use of it. His advice to everyone was to return to the basics though.

    Responding to chairman Singhal’s earlier set of questions for the Indian fashion industry; Biyani, founder and CEO, , observed that the fashion sector in India has not yet achieved its full potential and we are at its infancy. Hence the question of losing scale does not arise. On Singhal’s second question with regards to why no international brands from India, Biyani was quick to respond asking – “Why be international? Is it a great achievement?” Adding to this particular point, Singhania added, “The name of the game today is to make money and offer quality to customers. Being present in the international market is not something we should be striving for.”

    On the question on value retail, Biyani explained that we were still evolving as a fashion market hence value retail would eventually come in. Commenting on the issue pertaining to why no thought or industry leaders have emerged form the fashion industry, Biyani went ahead to bring to the forefront that this particular industry was very much fragmented and heterogeneous hence it becomes difficult to get a single leadership evolve from here. As far as the industry going to the government time and again, Biyani answered saying that it was perhaps just the export council / association of the industry which was a regular with requests for SOPs etc. but overall the industry has not demanded any special government interventions or concessions.

    One very interesting observation put forth by P K Gothi, MD, Morarjee Textiles was, “It is time we look at exploring the opportunities of having JVs within India rather than always going abroad for finding the right JVs. The country has enough scope for everyone.”

    — IndiaRetailing Bureau, Mumbai