A two-day East India Retail Summit (EIRS) 2012, organized by Images Group, has started on an information-packed note at ITC Sonar, Kolkata bringing together the biggest national and regional retailers under one roof. After receiving an overwhelming response to the first edition, the EIRS 2012 aims at empowering the East India region with retail knowledge to explore bigger and better future opportunities.
The eventful day started with the session “CEO breakfast” moderated by Jayant Kochar, MD and CEO, Images Group in the presence of eminent figures of the retail sector including Harshvardhan Neotia, Chairman EIRS 2012 and Chairman Ambuja Realty. The charged-up session included a conversation on the various facets of retail and the changing scenario.
Speaking at the session, Sanjiv Gupta, Director, GKB Opticals, said: “Government policy refund is directly related to our businesses. We need to market ourselves better in front of the government for the development of our sector. People work hard in India but we need to carve a market to support and scale up our business. According to me, development in our sector will only happen if we get united and present our demands unanimously in front of the government.”
Highlighting the challenges faced, Ved Vyas Chabra, MD, Tourister Shoes, added that excise duty is one of the main problems in our business. "I think footwear is one of the highly taxed products. We want to pass on the profit to the customers but we are unable to do it because of the high taxation,” he said.
Vineet Kaplia, President and CEO, Spence’rs Retail, also shared his thoughts during the session stating: “ We think we have done a good job so far for the retail sector. In past five years, retail as a sector has grown and grown for better, lot of things are changing like FDI in single brand retail have been granted. FDI in multi brand retail and GST is also going on the right track. We need to keep the momentum going and keep doing what we are doing.”
The grand session was followed by ‘Look East –The rising star of Indian retail’, covering an in-depth analysis of the Eastern market discussing key issues such as facts on Indian retail sector, FDI perspective, and government. policies with lead speakers Dr. Rajeev Roy,XIMB and Prof. Prashant Mishra, IIM Kolkata followed by a debate titled ‘How to build scale: Regional vs National’. Gautam Jatia, Starmark and other speakers debated on whether successful regional retailers undermine the importance of focusing on a niche market in the first half while in the second half speakers like Mohit Tikmany, CEO, Manyavar; Sarat Binani, MD, Himalya Opticals and other retailers discussed on how successful regional retailers can be assisted in having a national presence.
Continuing with the knowledge exchange, the summit progressed with a discussion on ‘Franchising’. Several critical issues regarding the franchisee and the franchisor were discussed by Parag Dani, Director Retail, Levis; Sitanshu Jhunjhunwala, Director, Turtle; Anurag Poddar, CEO, Presto and others. It proved to be an information-packed session followed by‘Retail Mall Spaces: Regional Retailers meet National Retail space developers’ – the most awaited session before signing off for the day.
The session included an intense discussion to understand the dynamics of mall management and retail space management. The esteemed speakers of the session were Kishore Bhatija, MD, InOrbit; Deepti Goel, VP Retail, Ambience; Ved Vyas Chhabra, Owner, Touristor Shoes; Praveen Agarwal, Founder, Prapti Fashions and others to conclude the day.
The summit is supported by brands such as Bata, Coca Cola, Spencers, Future Group, Manyavar, Ambuja Realty, Prapti Fashions, Starmark, Khadim’s, Longhorns, Turtle, GKB Opticals, Baazar Kolkata, Eteenz, Forum Projects, Avani, Acropolis and DLF, among others.
A host of retail biggies, present on the first day of the summit to spot the latest economic and retailing trends that are affecting the industry while exploring new business opportunities and strategies to increase productivity in this part of the country, turned the second edition of EIRS into a valuable forum for the retail industry.