The two-day India Retail Forum (IRF) – 2009, India’s largest retail congregation that kick-started at The Renaissance, Mumbai on September 16, 2009 inaugurated by B S Nagesh, chairman, IRF ’09 and vice chairman, Shoppers Stop Ltd. saw an impressive participation of over 250 Indian speakers, panelists and delegates over 1800.
Through the event, IRF has introduced ‘Retail Power Tracks’, the CEOs conclave across ten key retail verticals where consumers spend money that includes Fashion, Food & Grocery, Health & Beauty Care, Restaurants & Food Courts, Jewellery, Watches & Eyewear, Shoes & Accessories, Home & Interiors, Consumer Electronics, IT – Mobile & Gadgets, Leisure (Books, Music, Gifts, More). According to the experts, these conclaves will help everyone learn from the best brains of the respective sectors who will share their learnings, best practices and strategies. At the same time it is critical while one absorbs, adopts and implements them rightly.
The session on Retail Learning which was an introspective session on the retail journey, anchored by Raghu Pillai, president and chief executive, Operations & Strategy, Reliance Retail Ltd. saw a stimulating discussion with industry bigwigs like Vineet Kapila, CEO, Spencer’s Retail, Hemant Bakshi, ED, Sales & Customer Development, HUL and V Ramachandran, director, Sales & Marketing, LG India. The session concluded with consensus amongst the panelist that one needs to give some time to the retail sector and that both modern and traditional trade will have to co-exist.
Speaking on the journey of organised retail in India, Hemant Bakshi, executive director, Sales & Customer Development, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), says, “We believe that the penetration of modern trade in India has been less than expected. However, what is interesting to note is that the penetration in SEC A segment has exceeded expectations. He further adds, “the way to move forward for the Indian retail industry is to make it more inclusive. Collaboration is the success mantra.”
In an exclusive session ‘No Stopping India!’, Kishore Biyani, founder & CEO, Future Group shared interesting insights on ‘value creation ’emphasising the need to create stimulus and increase consumption. He says, “We are witnessing sensibilities come into the retail business now. Players in the industry need to understand that you cannot do everything yourself, hence collaboration is critical.” Future Group is all set to enter the Telecom sector soon, informs Biyani. According to him, there are growing opportunities in travel and tourism in India. In addition to that the expected growth in food sector is to increase by 35 per cent to 50 per cent, he elucidates.
Supported by all major bodies including Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Retailers Association of India (RAI) and Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI), IRF saw over 200 thought leaders from across the globe sharing their vision and views with some 1000 captains of the industry.
The Forum brings an opportunity to learn, share and evolve with the masters in the business, explore vibrant ideas, witness innovation in merchandise, spaces, IT and support systems, network and celebrate outstanding achievements in the business of retail in India. IRF will conclude with the grand finale, IMAGES RETAIL AWARDS felicitating best performers in retail, outstanding professionals and concepts.
— IndiaRetailing Bureau