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    IRF 2017 Curtain Raiser: The Great Indian Retail Story

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    On September 19th and 20th, retail and allied businesses from India and overseas will gather at India’s largest retail intelligence business event, India Retail Forum (IRF) 2017, ), powered by .

    IRF 2017 Curtain Raiser: The Great Indian Retail Story

    Chaired by Customer Care Associate & MD, Shoppers Stop, Govind Shrikhande, the 14th edition of this mega event promises to offer a crisp barometer of the rapid changes sweeping retail in India, the world’s fastest growing major market, and also in-depth insights on navigating the future.

    “IRF is truly the only forum which matters in India when it comes to retail leaders sharing game changing insights, world-class concepts, as the breaking ground for India entry strategy for global players, and as the incubation ground for fruitful multi-million-dollar partnership ideas and alliances. This annual event will bring together delegates from all nooks and corners of India and the world, 200+ distinguished speakers from across the globe, 100+ exhibitors of next-generation retail innovations, and innumerable opportunities to tap into this high potential market,” said Govind Shrikhande, Chairman, IRF’17 and CCA and MD, Shoppers Stop.

    He further stated, “Over the past two decades incredible transformation in Indian consumer markets has been witnessed by the retail industry. We’re the world’s fastest growing major market, and populated by demanding, aspirational, globally-connected, and ‘living-for-the-now’ consumers. For brand marketers and retailers, as if that were not enough, there is now the added complexity of digital consumption. I believe that, this is the most opportune moment to harness our passion, and innovation to create an immersive and experiential setting for our consumers and rekindle the ‘Romance’ in retail. India Retail Forum (IRF) has chronicled and even catalyzed ahead-of-the-curve innovations in consumer experiences and fashioning India’s consumption story across retail categories.”

    Referring to the ongoing shifts in consumer behaviour brought on by technology, Amitabh Taneja, Chief Convenor, India Retail Forum said, “Customers’ growing acceptance of different channels and high expectations for seamless shopping & fulfilment experiences are putting unprecedented pressure on retailers to retain its customers. The once single channel purchase path has been scrambled as consumers are distracted by devices in store, at home and on-the-go. In this always-on, omnichannel digital age, retailers must create the best experience to meet consumers’ needs and capture their hearts, minds and ultimately, their wallets.”

    : Ushering in a New Era of Retail

    So, what are the major macro developments over the past year that IRF 2017 will be taking stock of?

    This year, IRF, the world’s largest democracy of retail will tell you what the explosive surge of multi-channel, multi-format retail in the world’s fastest growing major economy, India means for your business.

    IRF 2017 is all about India’s predominance as a major market with affluent consumption and the robust indicators shaping the promise of the ‘Great Indian Retail Story’.

    Sessions, which will see some of the Retail Industry’s finest on the dais, will be held to discuss how India’s high economic growth, strong positioning as investment hub and stable government from a world perspective along with economic and tax reforms, improving market sentiments, an earning and spending young population, burgeoning e-commerce and digitization at domestic level, are the main driving factors in the retail market growth.

    The Promise of Indian Retail: From Vision to Execution

    Over the past decade or so, retailing in India has been an unequalled opportunity for both domestic and international players. However, even as the market numbers continue to look attractive, very few have been able to crack the code to profitable growth.

    For many, the India retail opportunity has thus far been a long chase with profitability an elusive goal. So, what is it they are missing and how should they re-plan the future to achieve the growth trajectory they aspire?

    IRF 2017 will take a renewed look at the journey of some stalwarts of the retail industry to unravel and then piece together what it would take to grow profitably in this market. The research provides insights into seminal choices retailers need to make to set in place the right building blocks for growth that is future proof.

    Eminent retailers including Govind Shrikhande, Chairman, IRF’17 and CCA and MD, Shoppers Stop; Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, IRF Chairman 2016; Arvind Varchaswi, Managing Director, Sriveda Sattva Private Limited; Philip Auld, MD, Tata Trent; Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Future Retail; Shashwat Goenka, Retail Sector head, RP-SG Group; William Bissell, Co-founder & MD, Fabindia; and B S Nagesh, Founder, TRRAIN will be speaking at the event.

    Future-Proofing Your Business

    IRF this year aims to be an educational experience for the retail community at large. Its session, ‘The Long-Term View for The Retail Industry of Tomorrow’, will center around the fact that retail chains around the world are facing an increasing margin squeeze – from changing consumer behavior, new store formats, rising complexity, supplier consolidation, and other factors.

    The session will discuss the new approaches retailers need to take to improve operations and boost competitive advantage. It will also examine where the retail industry should be focusing in terms of investment in the next 5-10 years.

    India Omnichannel Forum 2017

    Addressing the imperative of profitable Omnichannel strategies, the conference at India Omnichannel Forum (IOF) 2017 – the concurrent show at IRF 2017 – will feature targeted discussions:

    Which kind of products sell better online

    • Do customers worry about which channel they buy from
    • How are Brands selling online today?
    • How to manage brand promise on marketplaces
    • Are Luxury products a good fit to sell on marketplaces
    • Can Retailers Collaborate with Marketplaces
    • Why are online retailers setting up stores?
    • Are the challenges different for them?
    • How can brands go cross border?

    Taking the Omnichannel story beyond stores to shopping centres, an IRF session on ‘What the Future of Retail Holds for the Malls of Tomorrow’ will focus on the path for malls to become immersive, digitally synced lifestyle destinations.

    Meanwhile, many Indian retailers are already showing evidence of smart deployment of technology – be it in in-store displays, intuitive customer experiences, virtual reality, artificial intelligence or even making rapid transitions to online channels.

    Exhibitions & More

    Three distinct exhibition areas at IRF 2017 – Retail Concepts Zone, Retail Support Zone, Retail Real Estate Zone – will be showcasing some next-generation retail store differentiation, design and location ideas that can incubate truly market-ahead retail addresses in India.

    There are some trends that are no longer in the distant future; evidence of intuitive technologies such Internet of Things and Beacons are already being tested by scores of retailers across the globe.

    The 2-day event will culminate with what can be called Indian retail’s biggest night – the IMAGES Retail Awards 2017 ceremony, recognising excellence in the business through over 20 honours for retailers and professionals across categories.