Focussed on defining appropriate and market-specific growth strategies, the South India Retail Summit brought together a panel discussing challenges and factors that enable retailers to scale up into different markets. Moderating the discussion, Kaushik Sriram, Consultant, AT Kearney was joined by Manohar D Chatlani, Chairman, MD Retail (Soch); Rahul Bhalchandra, CEO and Founder, YLG Salon and Spa; CK Kumaravel, CEO and Co-Founder, Naturals Salon and Spa and Ketan Pishe, Director and Partner, PN Rao on the panel.
Referencing the hub-and-spoke model, Ketan Pishe, a third generation retailer at PN Rao elaborated on the company’s strategy, which rides on creating a hub within a city and spoke the model around it.
But how does one move to a different market and understand the dynamics of a new territory? Understanding distribution systems in a new region and the cultural perception of that market is important, panelists said, because scaling up too rapidly can also cost a retailer dearly.
According to Kumaravel, the Indian market is still evolving with traditional retailers turning into modern formats. Here the early birds have had the privilege of making mistakes and learning from them, he pointed out.
Acknowledging that for a large-scale industry, it is difficult to customise for a section of consumers within a particular region, the panelists agreed that it would be easier to find target consumers through online marketing. Online marketing has enabled retailers to draw customers to their physical stores by connecting with them on social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter, they said.
The first-ever South India Retail Summit was held on December 10 at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru. Comprising a day-long conference and exhibition, the event hosted business and operational heads of some of South India’s and the country’s leading retail organisations, consumer brands, retail support companies, shopping centre developers and global consulting firms.