"FDI will in fact give a boost to talent development and generation of employment, rather than reduce it as is believed" says V Govind Raj, Vice President – Integrated Retail Services, Titan Industries, while talking to IndiaRetailing on his views on FDI.
He added: "While Indian retailers have so far been learning by experimentation, FDI could help shorten the learning curve for retail in India by bringing in best practices in operations, technology and training. The concerns on permitting FDI in retail are based on the fact that 95 percent of Indian retail is unorganized and the entry of the large foreign players could result in these small ones in the unorganized market getting run over, thereby resulting in the loss of jobs/occupation for them. This, however, is not the case. "
He said that retail in India is at a very nascent stage; the business needs a lot of capital to be successful and the returns are likely to come in only in the long run. There is a need for a lot of risk capital to be infused into this sector and FDI would be the solution.
On being asked about how Titan was gearing up for the competition from global brands, Raj said that Titan already offers quality products and is continuously improving its products and services. "We have invested in design and have our own design studios manned by qualified designers. Innovation is encouraged and is one of the core values of the company. Titan should be possibly rated as the only watch manufacturer who has set up HELIOS — a chain of retail stores that in fact retails products of International brands that are its competitors!"
Talking about online retailing Raj said that the penetration of Internet is increasing and people are getting more comfortable with the use of Internet. Online shoppers have got a good experience in buying travel-related products and there is a growing confidence in shopping in the comfort of homes and work places. "Online shopping will certainly account for a larger share of pie in the years to come and we are already seeing good signs of this in pilots that we have run," he said.