The second day of India Retail Forum 2009 started out with interesting sessions like ‘Home and interiors’ and ‘Leisure- book, music and gifts’ that were lined up back to back. The pannel discussions were being followed by open house interactions that encouraged a lot of active audience participation. The discussion on the home and interiors industry began with the question thrown up by Mahesh Shah, CEO, Home Town, “How well do we know the Indian consumers?”
Bharat Ram, VP, Retail, Himatsingka Wovens suggested how encouraging sales through catalogues or via the internet can actually help the industry to manage the product portfolio and the infrastructure better. Manish Parekh, director, @home, Nil Kamal rightly pointed out, “Our effort should be directed towards educating the consumer about the necessity for branded products in the home furnishing segment. Once they learn to appreciate the quality and durability they will be putting the money for, the consumer will realise that he is getting value for money in the long run.”
Since women are the decision makers at the home front, Dipali Goenka, director, Welspun Retail brought to the table the fact that the products should be designed keeping the lady of the modern house-hold in mind.
The participants for the following session about books and music, spoke on similar lines about getting the model correct. Deepinder Kapany, business head, Reliance TimeOut claimed, “It is very important for our category to create impulses for purchase. So even if we have a lot of people browsing through books or CDs on the shop floor, it it not an obstacle for our business.”
T S Ashwin, MD, Odyssey shared his company’s success formula by stressing on the need for being visible. They have done so by being a part of the Delhi airport as well as being associated with sports. As a final word, C. B Navalkar, CEO, Crossword emphasised on the need for getting the act right in order to make a headway in this industry.
— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau