The very first session of the India Retail Forum (IRF ’09) in Mumbai opened with a full house at Renaissance in Mumbai on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. The response for this exclusive event for retailers from India and abroad was very encouraging as far as the future of modern retail is concerned.
The crowd was engrossed to the knowledge sharing session addressed by B S Nagesh, chairman, IRF’09 and vice chairman, Shoppers Stop Ltd. He shares, “IRF has become the annual convergence point for the best retail minds in the country. Though the last three years saw steep rises and falls, the road ahead holds a ‘Big’ promise for the challengers.” In the course of his speech, he elucidated how there have been heavy investments in technology, infrastructure, supply chain, logistics and the likes to support retail. Also, the good news he shared was, the Indian consumers are continuing to purchase at a higher rate than any other country in the world.
Taking cues from the introductory session, as a prelude to the ten retail power tracks to be covered at IRF’09, Vikram Bakshi, MD, McDonald’s (North & East India) re-emphasised on the need for retailers to absorb, adopt and execute the various learnings from the industry stalwarts. He says, “In spite of the tough times, as a retailer one must rebound with more efficiency and innovation. The growth opportunities lie in tier II and tier III towns actually. As a business enterprise if you are ‘green and growing’ then you have a long way to go by abiding to the best practices. Like the saying goes, it’s all in your hands.”
With such motivating thoughts, the dedicated two day event for retailers promises to be exactly what the industry requires at this point of time.
— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau