Home Retail IRF to Celebrate Powerful New Dynamics of Indian Modern Retail

    IRF to Celebrate Powerful New Dynamics of Indian Modern Retail


    New research shows the segment will grow at a CAGR of 29.7 % from 2012 to 2015

    With the eagerly awaited FDI in multi-brand retail finally becoming a reality, the Indian consumers and progressive retailers have a lot to look forward to. Foreign investment would result in a strengthened backend support infrastructure and supply chain, smooth movement of goods from farm to fork and a more effective route for local manufacturers to reach customers. Employment in modern retail will get a boost and Indian consumers will benefit from improvements in quality, pricing, choice, availability and service. With foreign brands opening stores in India, the country may emerge as a shopping destination of choice for the entire South Asian region.

    The India Retail Forum (IRF) 2012, beginning 10th October at the Renaissance, Mumbai, is all set to celebrate the new dynamics of Indian modern retail which have triggered a fresh wave of optimism in the industry. The future looks rosy enough. According to India Retail Report 2013 by the research firm IRIS, which is set to be launched at the IRF, the overall Indian retail industry is set to grow at a CAGR of 18.8 percent from 2012 to 2015, while modern retail will grow at 29.7 percent over the same period. FDI is going to provide a fresh impetus to modern retail to enter markets beyond the metros. Fashion will continue to have the biggest pie of modern retail in India while food will be the fastest growing vertical over the coming few years, according to IRIS.

    With Indian modern retail now wide open to the world, IRF will take fresh stock of the strategies to bring in global best practices to deliver Indian consumers the best value for their spend. The forum, the magnum opus of Indian retail, promises to be more exciting than ever before this year, with much larger number of domestic and international participants. It is packed with over 30 back-to-back sessions built around very interesting topics and formats. These would be attended by the Who’s Who of the Indian modern retail industry.

    R Subramanian, the quick-thinking dynamo who dared to dream big with Subhiksha, would share the lessons of his life in a frank discussion with another retail legend, BS Nagesh, the former MD and Vice Chairman of Shoppers Stop and Founder of TRRAIN. In his first appearance before the retail industry since the collapse of the chain in 2009, “Subbu” is ready to bare his heart and tell the true story behind the meteoric rise and contentious decline of his unique business venture.

    A power-packed discussion about FDI in retail will strive to have the definitive words on this much-debated topic. It will discuss how the Indian retail industry’s agenda for economic and social development can be fast tracked. While large sections of policy-makers are acknowledging the benefits to India’s economic and social development which will come through opening up of modern retail, there is still a contrarian viewpoint opposing FDI in modern retail. The session would present the views of policy-makers, retail industry CEOs, think-tank experts and retail traders’ associations in an engaging debate. The participants would attempt to chart the course of action where global and Indian retailers can both participate in a mutually beneficial environment of open investment facilitated by the Govt.

    In the Next-Gen series, the heirs and future retail business leaders would disclose the leadership traits and values they have imbibed from their iconic parents – the pioneers of Indian retail. Continuing the focus on the next generation of leaders of Indian modern retail, successful middle managers would speak out about what the CEOs should do to get the best out of their teams and improve their business performance.

    The front-line is where the destiny of businesses is decided. IRF would salutes the front-line team through a unique session that would capture the basics that those who serve customers every day know well, but the “Management” seems unaware about. The realities faced by the front level staff at their retail outlets can be the most important source of information for the management. Being the first and only contact point with the customer, they are the ones who make that last-mile connect and know the pulse of the customer better than anybody else. But their voice never makes itself heard. At IRF, you would hear these front-line managers and customer service associates tell the real story.

    The other sessions would offer an analysis of Indian retail and key retail insights. They would reveal how retail businesses can be agents of social change and how to attract investors to fund retail businesses. Brand building, latest innovations in retail, retail real estate partnerships, customer centric retailing, retail technology breakthroughs, leverage the online space to give sales a boost, social media, customer service, choosing the right retail spaces, tapping the luxury market, and what the future holds for Indian retail would be other focus areas which the participants would analyse threadbare. Expat retail professionals would share their insights about the global best practices which CEOs can apply to their retail businesses while another session would examine the tier 2 and tier 3 opportunity for retailers. Delegates would also be speaking on the art of reinventing the retail businesses and successfully building people and relationships. The IRF would conclude with the much coveted Images Retail Awards.

    Amitabh Taneja, Chief Convenor of IRF 2012, says that the forum would bring to the participants an opportunity to learn, share and evolve with the masters in the business, explore out-of-the-box ideas, witness innovation in merchandise, spaces, IT and support systems, and celebrate outstanding achievements in the business of retail in India. “It is time for retailers to shop for success at the IRF,” he says. “I look forward to an insightful and eventful session driven by the finest think tanks and visionaries in retail. I am sure it would help build strong relationships among all the stakeholders so that retailing in India is further strengthened and new ways are discovered to give consumption a boost.”

    Jayant Kochar, Group CEO of IMAGES, calls IRF a congregation of the most innovative and successful retail brands, companies and minds from across the globe and the entire retail support universe. “IRF is the ‘Mecca’ for retail captains and policy makers, and is a ‘must attend’ for all businesses wanting to connect with the lucrative yet complex Indian market and her consumers,” he adds, calling upon all stake holders in the retail industry to come together at India Retail Forum and make full use of this opportunity to create a sustainable and strong India.

    According to Kishore Biyani, Founder & Group CEO, Future Group, modern retail has a huge potential to not only benefit from India’s increasing consumption demand but also create demand for value-added products, boost local entrepreneurship, create jobs and raise income levels. “At India Retail Forum, let us explore how we can collaborate to create consumption demand and offer Indian consumers a better standard of living by providing better products at best prices,” he says.

    Adds Ajay Kaul, CEO, Jubilant Foodworks: “IRF over the years has become the premier most retail event in India. It’s a great congregation of best minds in retail with a right mix of business sessions and networking sessions. These offer a great opportunity.”

    Says Anand J Mehta, Director, Asia Pacific – Retail, Motorola: ”Motorola has proudly been associated with IRF for a number of years. This event is undoubtedly the industry leader in congregating leading retailers and related ancillary industries, the result of which is that global best practices are brought to the local market live.”

    According to Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle, the retail scenario took a significant step backward during the recent downturn. However, the outlook is now improving noticeably. “I can confidently say that platforms such as the India Retail Forum have done much to bring about this spirit of progress and overall concern for retail as an industry. Over the years, I have seen IRF become a major annual catalyzing and unifying force for the Indian retail community.”