A long-term retail professional, Krish Iyer brings a wealth of industry-specific management and leadership experience to his present role as President and CEO of Walmart India.
Iyer joined Walmart International as a Senior Vice President in 2012. Prior to this, he served as Managing Director, AS Watson Group, a leading international health, beauty and lifestyle retailer. During his six-year tenure at AS Watson Group, he handled the company’s business in Thailand, Taiwan and Philippines as Managing Director, and as Regional Business Development Director and Regional Director of Store Design and Development for Asia and Eastern Europe.
Prior to that, Iyer was Managing Director and CEO of Piramyd Retail Limited. He started as Executive Director and CEO of Piramyd Retail in April 1999. During his 7.5-year tenure, he was also CEO of Retail Business and Managing Director of Piramyd Retail. He successfully concluded an IPO for the company in December 2005.
Iyer holds a Bachelor’s of Science (Hons.) degree in Commerce and Economics from the University of Mumbai, India. He is an Associate Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He is also an associate member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
Speaking on his current role as head of the world’s largest retailer’s operations in India, Iyer says, “Our purpose is help people save money so they can live better. This purpose is very motivating as Walmart has helped improve the standard of living of millions of people around the world by helping them save money. How we serve customers is the key to our success. We have never failed to put the customer right where the customer needs to be in the debate – at the very heart of it even as technology and innovations have ushered in omni-channels to serve them better.”
Iyer’s passion for retail comes from his enduring belief that the industry has exceptional talent, amazing agility and dynamism. “Our ecosystem helps us develop leaders of outstanding moral character who are passionate about people as well as performance,” he notes.
To Iyer, the most significant day-to-day challenge is “to keep the customer at the centre of every action and every decision”.
“Service to the customer is the core purpose of our existence. Are we thinking about doing those extra little things? Are we looking the customer in the eye and offering to help? These were the words of Sam Walton, the father of retail and founder of Walmart Stores, Inc., and I couldn’t agree more,” he says.
To achieve full potential, Indian retailers should always put the customer at the very heart of debate and discussion, Iyer asserts. “Exceed your customer’s expectations,” he adds.
Secondly, according to Iyer, retailers must pay greater attention of systems and processes to drive business profitably. Thirdly, the use of Use Big Data Analytics at low costs can effectively serve the customer better and create loyalty, he points out.
“Also, pay greater attention to the future trends and changing shopper behavior in the context of rapidly growing e-commerce and accordingly define the size of the box, the value proposition and standards of customer service to differentiate oneself and create customer loyalty,” Iyer emphasises.
Finally, to optimise potential, “retailers must place high emphasis on doing business the right way to create emotional bond with the shoppers and to generate high level of commitment and loyalty from the employees,” he concludes.