With conversations centred around the future of the retail ecosystem, the event brought together thought leaders who share a common interest and passion to take the retail industry to new heights with cutting-edge technology and in-depth consumer knowledge.
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Government of India and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog graced the event as the honourable chief guests. The event witnessed insightful discussions with national dignitaries and industry experts such as S. Suresh Kumar (IAS) Additional Secretary, Additional CEO, Government e-Marketploce (GeM); Ram Mohan Mishra (IAS) Additional Secretary, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises; Pushpa Bector, EVP and Head DLF Shopping Malls; Sumit Duggal, co-founder SignCatch Inc.; Pulkit Trivedi, Director, Facebook India; Sangram Singh, CEO, FreeCharge; Anshu Budhraja, CEO Amway India Enterprises; Debjit Talapatra, Director and Head PHD Chamber; Megha Thareja Tyagi, Head of Industry – eCommerce, Google India and many others.
The Indian Retail Industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries in modern India’s history. Providing a play-field to several new players, it accounts for over 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around 8 percent of the employment.
With a beneficial demographic dividend of the world’s second largest young population, an affluent middle class, and rapid urbanisation and percolation of the internet across all strata, India is viewed as an attractive global destination within the retail space.
The insightful sessions through the day highlighted the changing landscapes and disruptive impact of smart technology on brick and mortar businesses globally and featured various discussion panels with experts across various sectors.
The panellists also focussed on the challenges faced by the retail industry such as archaic legacy systems, lack of payment infrastructure, etc. as experienced by MSMEs for expanding their scale.
These discussions were followed by an intense brainstorming session with industry experts and specialists, both from India and abroad, and led to the unanimous acknowledgement that new age digital technology will continue to be instrumental in shaping the industry and play a pivotal role in leveraging sales, reducing marketing costs and creating avenues for increased investment options.
The e-commerce industry has revolutionised the retail industry. Technology is expected to play an integral role in shaping the industry for the future. Technology enabled innovations like Smart Stores, Digital Payments, Hyper-local logistics, analytics driven customer engagement and digital advertisements are expected to be the drivers for growth within the sector.
With an increase in the number of electronic payment gateways and mobile wallets, it is expected that by the year 2020, cashless transactions will account for 55 percent of the online sales. The total size of e-commerce industry (only B2C e-tail) in India is expected to reach a staggering US $101.9 billion by 2020.
These thoughts were further echoed by Pushpa Bector, Chairperson, Retail Committee and EVP & Head of DLF Shopping Malls in her special address on the future of retail.
Bector said, “There is a pressing need for the retail industry to evolve in order to cater to the rapidly growing segment of the digitally savvy consumer, who is always connected on social media and expects a seamless online and offline experience. Thus, laying the foundation for New Retail with differentiated products, personalized offers, self-service options and end-to-end lifecycle nurturing.”
The summit, celebrated the phenomenal success achieved by the industry and also shone light on the challenges that lay ahead as well as emphasised on the need to evolve and embrace technology as the anchor to create a seamless online and offline retail experience.