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Small Quantity is Big Business


One meaning of the word Retail is to sell in smaller quantity, portion or items. Retailing is generally meant for the end-user, who will but it for their personal use. On individual terms we call it ‘shopping’.

This is the ultimate point, where the entire enterprising chain gets the returns on its efforts. The Potential But the ‘small’ is not what it seems. Retailing is a big, especially in India.

Kearney Research tells us that retail industry in India was at US$ 779 billion in 2019. It is expected to touch US$ 1,407 billion by 2026 and US$ 1.8 trillion by 2030. Now that should give you a sense of the potential of the Retail industry.


The Space

India is the fifth-largest global destination in retail space. International retail chains eye India intently, for it has emerged as the most dynamic and fast-paced, accounting for over 10 % of the GDP and 8 % of the employment. But where does this massive retail industry find its selling space?

The Expertise

Our scanners catch these two big and bold letters, M&B. Short-form for Mandate and Beyond, M&B is a consultancy that offers complete real estate solutions, specializing in the commercial dimension. It is the brainchild of a team of few enterprising individuals led by Biswajit Patnaik, the Managing Director. Biswajit Patnaik, an MBA in marketing, comes with immense experience in corporate communications, branding solutions and retailing, thoroughly deciphering the new age economy. Over two decades’ rich experience in retail consultancy, including a stint with JLL as the head for retail vertical, makes Biswajit a subject matter expert. He pioneered in bringing the art and science of retailing together to the advantage of the business.

Abhinay Nanda, meanwhile brings his strong technical expertise and strategic prowess to the table. An MBA, Abhinay has 15+ years’ experience in the segment, making him a seasoned professional. A man of few words, Abhinay is all about action. His resilience to achieve perfection rel ects in each of the projects, which M&B takes up.

“It’s the excitement of taking up new and complex projects, that add value to the current retail landscape of the region. Our efforts should surpass expectations of all stakeholders but stays within the timelines and budget, are all the attracting factors of retail consulting. It this adrenaline high that gave birth to M&B and continues to thrive on,” reveals Biswajit.

“We offer complete solutions for setting up massive commercial ventures like malls, shopping arcades in high streets etc. We handhold our clients right from the green eld project, identifying the land, analysing its commercial feasibility, its geographic locational advantages or disadvantages, returns for investors and retailers to what kind of retailers would be the bill and of course the convenience of the customers. We bring everything to the table,” Biswajit opens up.

It is a task with multiple layers of complexity. How does one come around that? What should be the background of the team that takes up such unusually complex projects?

The Prowess

“At M&B, we are a bunch of seasoned professionals, who bring a varied experience baggage to the table. Our team, capable of conducting feasibility studies, master planning etc., includes architects, transaction specialists, building specification specialists and other professional with relevant yet varied expertise., who are passionate about bringing the best of value to all stakeholders involved,” said Biswajit.

“Meanwhile, one needs to have a sense of the marketplace. What kind of customers live around the area chosen? Will building a mall make sense or should it a high street with an ensemble of high-end brands? A lot of study goes into it before we draft out a plan for the land owner and the investors. The plan will have cost analysis, economies of scale, list of potential retailers chosen to be housed in the property, expected returns on investment, timelines etc. Once the owners and investors are satisfied, all necessary regulatory permissions are sought. Post which retailers are approached with a plan that accentuates their benefits,” explained Biswajit.

The Landscape

Abhinay opines, “We are really going through some exciting times in terms of dynamically changing market landscape, development in national economy, infrastructure and regulatory changes, and the like. A really challenging phase that will need some truly innovation solutions to address and move forward to make an impressive mark for our Clients.”

Last decade has seen a sea change in the way retail is approached. The aggression to enhance customer experience has amplified. Technology has a critical role to play today and so does online shopping. But the experience of being in the store is undeniable. And retailers do go that extra mile to bring the best to the customers. In such a scenario a professional retail consultant has a challenging role to play. Is M&B but exciting and bright. We see ourselves pushing the horizon to deliver higher value innovatively.”

As India surges ahead as the fastest growing economy and emerging into a marketplace of high potential, retail will thrive. Disposal income of the dominating Millennial population of the country will fuel the growth of the sector incessantly. The next decade is going to be an exciting phase for the high streets, malls, shopping arcades and other retail joints. Though challenges like COVID do have the potential to slow down once in a while, but the human spirit has proven that it will outdo these threats. And its aggressive consultancies like Mandate and Beyond that pursue the challenges, overcome the reluctancies and open new vistas for retail trade and customers to experience the bliss.