Food retailers must take Indian gourmet to the world to help achieve quality and scale in addressing the demand of Indian retail market, according to a cross section of retail stalwarts at the 11th edition of Indian Food Forum 2018.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the forum, Piruz Khambatta, CMD, Rasna said, “We must not cater to India, but cater to the world and possibly then look at India. We will subsequently have quality and scale that will drive. If pasta can be sold across the world, we can also sell Khakra across the world.”
Pointing out that 75 per cent of India still wants pickles or soft-drink at Rs 2, which despite a huge opportunity does not grow beyond a nascent stage; Khambatta said, “We must Make in India for the World.”
Sharing his thoughts, Arvind Varchaswi, Managing Director, Sri Sri Tattva said, “Food is undergoing a lifestyle change and is getting more personalized. There is a need for education about food on what is good for you and when it is good for you.”
Concurring with his view, Jamshed Daboo, MD, Trent Hypermarkets pointed out that India food retail is currently going with the power of brand without understanding what the palate is giving.
Moreover, food access to consumers which was dependent upon distribution is set to change. “It is not a game of scale any more, but of skill. New innovation in supply chain management will help in product cycle end-to-end and give consumer something different than they were otherwise getting in their catchment area,” Daboo said.
Earlier, delivering his keynote address, Krish Iyer, Chairman, India Food Forum 2018 and President & CEO, Walmart India said, “We are seeing a transformation unfolding before us- be it FDI reforms e.g. food retail FDI or implementation of path breaking reforms like GST. All these make the country a unique & priority investment destination.”
Expressing excitement to be part of this eventful journey of India that will enable higher rural income, spruce up farm infrastructure, and create world class last mile distribution and retail infrastructure in the country, Iyer said, “Today’s tech-savvy generation, growing internet and smart phone penetration is driving the evolution of the food segment. Their preference to engage with grocers and retailers on their own terms has brought tectonic shift in consumption patterns and has made technology a necessary tool to offer the most relevant value propositions such as experience, convenience, price and choice.”