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Musthafa Vazhat, managing director of Daymart and Muhammed Ali C., chairman of Daymart, provide insights into the Kerala-based food & grocery retailer’s success strategies, inventory management practices and expansion plans

Bengaluru: Establishing its presence amidst the multitude of supermarket chains in South India, Daymart has firmly rooted itself since 2009, initially launching its operations in Kerala.

With a current presence of 20 outlets across Kerala spanning an area of more than 1,30,000 sq. ft. The retailer is present in four districts of the state along with a store in Oman. It has two store formats—convenience stores and hypermarkets with an average store size ranging from 2,500 sq. ft. to 12,000 sq. ft.

In an exclusive interaction with Indiaretailing, Musthafa Vazhat, managing director of Daymart and Muhammed Ali C., chairman of Daymart, provide insights into the retailer’s success strategies, inventory management practices, adoption of technology, expansion plans and more.

Edited excerpts…

What is the story of Daymart?

Daymart started in 2009, driven by a shared passion for the retail business. After working in distribution, my fascination with the supermarket model, fuelled by studying global giants like Walmart, drove me to launch my own supermarket chain.

Teaming up with my college mate and co-founder, Muhammed Ali, who brought his expertise from the staples and rice wholesale business, we set up our first store in Kuttiadi, a small town in Kozhikode district, Kerala. The idea might have also influenced us by our family legacy in the kirana and wholesale trade, with both of us having roots in similar businesses.

During a brainstorming session with Ali, we stumbled upon the name Daymart as we envisioned our store becoming a mini-marketplace catering to people’s daily needs. We settled on ‘DayMart’ with the tagline ‘your daily needs’ to encapsulate our vision.

We have more than 750 employees and the journey has been a blend of experiences, combining our expertise and passion for the retail sector, which continues.

Three strategies for success?

Pricing strategy: We remain vigilant about market trends, constantly adjusting our prices to stay as an affordable place to shop. We ensure that every time customers choose us, they receive value for their money.

In-store promotions and displays: Our aim is for customers to enter our store and be wowed. To achieve this, we establish sampling stations and organise tasting events, allowing customers to experience our products firsthand.

Customer rewards and loyalty: We’ve implemented a customer loyalty programme featuring rewards and discounts, where customers accumulate redeemable points with each purchase. These points are essentially as valuable as money and can be utilised for future shopping.

How do you approach pricing strategies?

Our advantage lies in our expansive network of stores which grants us purchasing power and strong bargaining leverage with our vendors. It allows us to negotiate favourable terms, secure competitive pricing and work out beneficial schemes with suppliers. As a result, we ensure cost-effectiveness in our procurement processes and can pass on these benefits to our customers

We prioritise maximising sales volume over solely focusing on profit margins. By concentrating on increased sales, our goal is to achieve sustainable growth, foster customer loyalty and solidify our position in the market.

How do you manage challenges related to inventory?

One of the key strategies we employ is leveraging technology. We use advanced inventory management systems to track stock levels, monitor product movement, and predict demand. This proactive approach aids us in avoiding overstocking or shortages of high-demand items, ensuring optimal inventory management.

We are in constant contact with our suppliers to prevent delays or shortage. With our distribution centre and logistics fleet, we streamline the transfer and movement of goods across our stores, eliminating any logistical hassles. In essence, technology, strong supplier relationships, supply chain management and regular audits help us to overcome challenges.

How do you maintain positive customer experience?

Creating a welcoming environment is at the core of our approach. Our staff plays a major role in this as they are approachable and ready to assist customers. We actively encourage our team to engage with customers, answer their questions, and provide assistance with a friendly attitude, ensuring every customer feels valued and supported throughout the shopping journey.

How do you adopt technology in supermarkets?

We have implemented artificial intelligence (AI) cameras for footfall monitoring and security, enhancing both operational efficiency and safety.

We have also embraced data analytics as a powerful tool for understanding purchase patterns and customer behaviour. By analysing data, we can tailor our product offerings and promotions to align with the preferences of our customers and it enables us to make more informed decisions regarding inventory management and marketing strategies.

Our online platform, Daymart Online provides convenience through both pick-up and home delivery orders, adapting to modern consumer habits.

Tell us about your expansion plans…

We are planning to open five more stores– one in UAE and others in either Karnataka or Tamil Nadu, whichever opportunity materialises first.

In two to three years, we anticipate further expansion into new markets, showing our presence in all South Indian states firstly with around 15 more new stores to add to our portfolio.

We also have plans in expanding our private label portfolio with more inhouse products. We also aim to further invest in our workforce, providing opportunities for professional development and employee well-being.

In terms of financial expectations, we aim to surpass Rs 500 crore in annual turnover by the fiscal year (FY) 2025.

Any success mantras for the supermarket industry…

Understanding and meeting the diverse needs of customers, offering a wide range of quality products with competitive price points and providing a positive shopping experience contribute significantly to success.

Operational efficiency and adaptability, staying agile and quickly adapting to market trends, consumer behaviours, and economic changes ensures we remain responsive to the dynamic nature of the industry.

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