In what perhaps can be seen as an active follow-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision, Future Group has rolled out a first-ever nationwide entrepreneurial support initiative with Big Bazaar Open House events in Mumbai and NCR. Designed with the objective of easing access of new entrepreneurs and products in Food and FMCG categories into Big Bazaar stores, the first of the events was held on September 26 at FRHO, Vikroli in Mumbai, followed by one for North India on November 7th and 8th in Gurgaon. Two more in the series – at Bengaluru and Kolkata – are to be conducted in the coming weeks.
Through the initiative, Big Bazaar is inviting potential partners to showcase their products to the retailer’s team, with the ultimate intention of including the new products on the chain’s shelves. The retailer has set up a ‘ease-of-business’ system at these events, with the promise of physically displaying finally selected products (provided all supply and legal parameters are met) within as little as 24 hours in Big Bazaar outlets. “If all parameters are in place, we are offering same-day registration and approval (including on margins) to the partners,” Devendra Chawla, CEO, Food Bazaar told Indiaretailing.
“The objective of this initiative is primarily to give a leg up to Indian entrepreneurship in food and FMCG categories,” Chawla added. “There are thousands of small and medium businesses in these categories, but many, for instance, are non-conversant with regulatory and documentation requirements, even when they make exciting, innovative products.”
Confirming that the Big Bazaar team encountered many such entrepreneurs at the Open House events, Chawla disclosed that the retailer had set up workshops at the event venues to guide such individuals. “Our teams mentored these entrepreneurs on the regulatory/ legal requirements and processes to help them complete the manufacturing-to-retailing cycle,” he said.
Entrepreneurs whose products matched the retailer’s quality and supply parameters – in addition to having requisite documentation in place – were registered at the venue, with their products being on shelves the next day. “We are essentially trying to facilitate a business-friendly environment for Indian entrepreneurs in the food & FMCG space,” Chawla elaborated. “For instance, our vendor registration form, which earlier was seven pages long, has been chopped down to four pages. We are working to simplify the process for partner businesses.”
As many as 400 potential partners attended the Open House in Mumbai, many of whom were finalized and assured a spot on Big Bazaar shelves. One of the main highlights of the day was the personal involvement of Group CEO, Kishore Biyani, who interacted directly with the potential partners.
With this initiative, Big Bazaar hopes to hand-hold emerging Indian entrepreneurs, while also infusing its shelves with excitement and freshness. “The idea was initiated by Kishoreji to foster Indian entrepreneurs in the food business. And this event also gave us a great opportunity to not only encourage the Indian entrepreneur, but also offer our consumers a bigger assortment of products,” Chawla noted.