Discussing the ‘Shaping Consumer Trends’ report at Massmerize 2016, Iyer – who is also Chairman, FICCI Retail & Internal Trade Committee – said, “The continued focus on ease of doing business by the Government augurs very well for India’s industries across sectors. We are seeing lot of reforms by the Government, not only related to FDI, but also for removing several structural and systemic bottlenecks.”
He added, “We need to do away with obsolete laws even at the state level. I think the Maharashtra government has taken some measures towards this.”
Talking about, reforms in retail and GST, Iyer said, “Reforms in the FMCG, retail and e-commerce industry were important for driving consumption and growth and in making ‘Make in India’ programme a success. The passage of GST Bill in Parliament and its expected roll out in April 2017 will change the way business is done in India and ultimately result in higher GDP growth.”
About 650 million people are expected to be online by 2020, out of which 250 million will be shopping online – spending more than US$50 billion. Interestingly, at least US$5 billion of this expenditure is expected to be on packaged consumer goods.
To get into consumer’s mind share due to the growing mobile internet revolution in India, Iyer said, “India will be domestic consumption-driven growth story, and, on our part, at Walmart India, we are growing our cash and carry business in the country and plan to take our store count to 70 stores with a full Omnichannel strategy. This is an exciting market for us.”
Iyer feels Government’s decision to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment in food marketing is a progressive step.
Iyer also praised government initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Startup India, Skill India and Smart Cities, terming them steps taken in right direction.