Re­tail Icons of East In­dia

Images Retail - - FRONT PAGE - SUVANKAR SEN, EX­EC­U­TIVE DI­REC­TOR, SENCO GOLD AND DI­A­MONDS

Smoothly rid­ing the crest of East­ern In­dia’s as­pi­ra­tionwave and chang­ing shop­ping trends in the met­ros, tier II&III cities of the re­gion have driven the con­ven­tional trader-run stores to morph into more or­ga­nized, large-for­mat re­tail out­lets. And, to fa­cil­i­tate this growth of re­tail, many re­tail re­alty projects have sprung up in all ma­jor mar­kets of East In­dia. As we move fur­ther into 2017, most of the East­ern states of In­dia dis­play a glo­ri­ous up­ward trend, one which is rapidly reach­ing sky­ward. Lux­ury buy­ing has trans­mo­gri­fied from an oc­ca­sional in­dul­gence into ne­ces­sity and in­creas­ing con­sumer spend­ing power is aid­ing this meta­mor­pho­sis. The end re­sult – the Great In­dian Mid­dle Class has been el­e­vated to a higher level. What was un­think­able in the East­ern re­gion till a few years ago is be­com­ing a re­al­ity, thanks to premium re­tail des­ti­na­tions like Quest mall, which has opened the lux­ury re­tail gate­way in East­ern re­gion. It’s be­cause of such premium des­ti­na­tions that cus­tomers be­long­ing to a di­verse mi­lieu are mak­ing a bee­line for malls to look at, touch, feel, buy, and then revel in the ex­pe­ri­ence of pos­sess­ing high­end in­ter­na­tional and na­tional prod­ucts. East­ern In­dia is in the cusp of be­ing trans­formed from a tra­di­tional cus­tomer base into a fash­ion con­scious, brand­savvy mar­ket. Its young gen­er­a­tion is shop­ping and de­mand­ing both fash­ion and qual­ity along with value for money spent from re­tail­ers. To meet th­ese im­pos­si­ble de­mands re­tail­ers – big and small, branded and un­branded, re­gional, na­tional and even in­ter­na­tional – are gear­ing up hugely, and very suc­cess­fully. To cater to th­ese con­sumers, re­tail­ers need to wake up to the im­por­tance of manag­ing re­tail­ing ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively. Re­tail man­age­ment saves time and en­sures the cus­tomers eas­ily lo­cate their de­sired mer­chan­dise and re­turn home feel­ing sat­is­fied that they have re­ceived what they have paid for. The con­sumers’ am­bi­tions to reach global stan­dards in life­style, cou­pled with high dis­pos­able in­comes, are ag­gres­sively script­ing a rad­i­cal change in the busi­ness vi­a­bil­ity of or­gan­ised re­tail­ing East In­dia. “East is called the re­tail mar­ket of tomorrow with all its po­ten­tial. The east In­dian econ­omy has grown by about nine per­cent an­nu­ally over the last three years and even higher growth rates are be­ing pro­jected for the fu­ture. Malls and large size de­part­ment stores have be­come a fix­ture in the ur­ban landscape across the East In­dian coun­tries” says, Anir­ban Kundu, Re­gional Mar­ket­ing Man­ager, East & Cen­tral In­dia, Max Re­tail Di­vi­sion. In­dia’s re­tail mar­ket value will reach an es­ti­mated ₹6,156,333 crore (US$ 1026.06 bil­lion) in 2017. And if this num­ber has to be pushed fur­ther then the fo­cus needs to shift from tra­di­tional North and West zones to states like West Ben­gal, Bi­har, Orissa, Jhark­hand, Ch­hat­tis­garh and the North-east­ern states. Re­tail stal­warts are of the opin­ion that the true de­mo­graphic div­i­dend of In­dia would re­main un­tapped if the east­ern re­gion is not ex­plored. As the re­tail­ers are now look­ing for scale, sus­tain­abil­ity and growth, East­ern In­dia – with for­mat re­tail play­ers who are present across mul­ti­ple cat­e­gories – is the next ob­vi­ous bet. Be it Pan­taloons or Big Bazaar, or re­gional fash­ion and life­style brands such as Tur­tle, GKB Lens, Spencer’s or Manyavar, the East has been a ma­jor mar­ket con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to over­all growth for all th­ese brands. In this spe­cial fea­ture, we speak to the stake­hold­ers of mod­ern re­tail in the re­gion. We gain their per­spec­tive and an­a­lyse ‘what the fu­ture holds for East In­dia’s re­tail mar­ket.’

SHASHWAT GOENKA, SEC­TOR HEAD, SPENCER’S RE­TAIL LTD.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

In­dia’s re­tail mar­ket is cur­rently val­ued at US$ 700 bil­lion and is ex­pected to nearly dou­ble by 2020. While the over­all re­tail mar­ket is ex­pected to grow at 12 per cent per an­num, mod­ern trade would ex­pand twice as fast at 20 per cent per an­num and tra­di­tional trade at 10 per cent. The in­dus­try and Govern­ment’s in­creased fo­cus on West Ben­gal, Bi­har, Orissa, Jhark­hand, Ch­hat­tis­garh and the North-east­ern states will fur­ther push th­ese growth fig­ures. From an in­fras­truc­ture per­spec­tive, East In­dia has been well-in­te­grated through im­proved com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, real estate de­vel­op­ment, ur­ban­iza­tion, a well­trav­eled pop­u­la­tion and the grow­ing ser­vice sec­tor. There has been a pal­pa­ble shift in the cus­tomer buy­ing pat­tern and ex­pec­ta­tions in the East, owing to the in­creas­ing mid­dle­class seg­ment, ris­ing dis­pos­able in­comes and grow­ing as­pi­ra­tions for im­proved liv­ing stan­dard. Th­ese fac­tors are fur­ther in­flu­enced by me­dia ex­po­sure, glob­al­iza­tion of cul­tures, life­styles and bet­ter tech­nol­ogy. Over­all, the East has done a good job in grow­ing the re­tail in­dus­try, and con­tin­ues to fos­ter re­tail­ers - big and small.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

The next decade will see fur­ther con­sol­i­da­tion in the in­dus­try and ma­tu­rity of the omni-chan­nel model to build a sus­tain­able re­tail prac­tice. Con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions are high. They want on-de­mand ac­cess to prod­ucts and ser­vices on mul­ti­ple plat­forms. It’s not about on­line and off­line, it’s about be­ing seam­less across chan­nels. Re­tail will be­come more con­sumer-pull driven and less re­tailer-push ori­ented. This ap­proach will bring about a shift in how con­sumers plan their shop­ping, con­sumer jour­ney and pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions. Re­tail­ers will be fo­cus­ing on mak­ing this mul­ti­chan­nel shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence seam­less and build­ing an en­gaged cus­tomer base. Phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal re­tail will merge into a new avatar, with growth coming from more from Tier II and Tier III cities and towns. Look­ing ahead to 2026, cu­rated shop­ping and dig­i­tal as­sis­tants will be widely used. Con­sumers will soon let a trusted dig­i­tal as­sis­tant like a Chabot wade through in­com­ing in­for­ma­tion to iden­tify rel­e­vant deals. Con­sumers will ex­pect con­ve­nience and per­son­al­iza­tion in their in­ter­ac­tions with re­tail­ers, and brands will ac­cept that this is en­abled by shar­ing per­sonal data. Tech­nol­ogy will fur­ther merge into the re­tail space, with re­tail­ers al­ready start­ing to ex­per­i­ment with aug­mented re­al­ity, wear­able de­vices, vir­tual re­al­ity and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

There are no chal­lenges that are spe­cific to the East only - all of the chal­lenges are ap­pli­ca­ble across the coun­try. The re­tail in­dus­try as a whole has a few chal­lenges - be it the lack of ad­e­quate skilled re­tail man­power, high at­tri­tion, in­suf­fi­cient in­fras­truc­ture (eg: cold stor­age fa­cil­i­ties) - but they have started to be­come less con­cern­ing due to fo­cus given by the govern­ment. Over­all, it is much eas­ier to work in the East­ern part of the coun­try.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

As re­tail­ers are look­ing for scale, East­ern In­dia with its huge pop­u­la­tion base and mar­ket po­ten­tial pro­vides a plethora of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Un­til a few years ago, many re­tail brands seemed hes­i­tant to step in this mar­ket, to­day they are vy­ing to build pres­ence here. This has been made pos­si­ble by the joint work­ing of the in­dus­try and the Govern­ment, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the build­ing of mar­ket­ing chan­nels and a qual­ity sup­plier base.

PARTHO P KAR, CHIEF CON­SUL­TANT, BISWA BANGLA

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Not re­ally, it could have done much bet­ter, as his­tor­i­cally east has been the start­ing point for many re­tail­ers in In­dia, how­ever, some­how there has been a slow growth in shop­ping malls and there are some lost op­por­tu­ni­ties in cre­at­ing high street re­tail. In fact, Kolkata has the po­ten­tial to be­come a shop­pers’ par­adise.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

Over the next 10 years, the east will pro­vide a grow­ing mar­ket for or­gan­ised re­tail. There is grow­ing in­ter­est of pri­vate mall de­vel­op­ers which will make shop­ping more in­ter­est­ing.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

In­fras­truc­ture bot­tle­necks are the big­gest chal­lenges. There is a lack of good malls. The govern­ment needs to help the re­tail in­dus­try in cre­ation of the re­tail and sup­ply chain in­fras­truc­ture, which in­cludes good public trans­port con­nec­tiv­ity, park­ing spa­ces, and des­ig­nated ar­eas for shop­ping. Cre­at­ing land bank for con­struc­tion of malls.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Pric­ing is a ma­jor bot­tle­neck. The sup­ply chain needs to be im­proved, the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence needs to im­prove both in terms of prod­uct avail­abil­ity and mul­ti­ple brand choice. Scale is much smaller than de­sired.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

Kolkata should be­come a shop­ping des­ti­na­tion like Dubai, which will mean that the govern­ment must come up with in­no­va­tive spa­ces all around the city to cater to dif­fer­ent level of cus­tomers. Spe­cially cu­rated high street re­tail ar­eas need to be de­vel­oped. Shop­ping tourism needs to be pro­moted not only in In­dia but also in places like Nepal, Bangladesh, Myan­mar etc. The govern­ment should par­tic­i­pate by giv­ing some ben­e­fits to in­fras­truc­ture de­vel­op­ers along with pro­mo­tions. This will not only gen­er­ate huge rev­enues but plenty of job op­por­tu­ni­ties. MAN­ISH AGAR­WAL, CEO EAST, FU­TURE GROUP

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

The progress of or­gan­ised re­tail in east­ern In­dia has been quite en­cour­ag­ing. Fu­ture Group has al­ways be­lieved in the po­ten­tial of East In­dia. For us every­thing started from Kolkata. Our fo­cus and spread has been quite large in the states and cities of East In­dia. From Ben­gal, Bi­har, Orissa, Jhark­hand, North East & North Ben­gal, from plains to the hills, we have been quite ag­gres­sive in in­creas­ing foot­prints in the east­ern part of the coun­try. For the last few years, we feel that many more re­tail brands have re­al­ized the po­ten­tial of the east and have started ven­tur­ing in this part. Fur­ther, an in­crease in mod­ern re­tail is gen­er­at­ing a lot of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­nity for young In­di­ans, women, and even se­nior cit­i­zens and dif­fer­ently-abled peo­ple. This has been quite en­cour­ag­ing and sat­is­fy­ing, to say the least.

How, ac­cord­ing to you, will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

The jour­ney of mod­ern re­tail over the next 10 years will be quite in­ter­est­ing. We feel the in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod seems to be coming to an end and it is now time to ex­plode rapidly. An in­crease in the younger pop­u­la­tion, the propen­sity for higher con­sump­tion, will­ing­ness to ex­pe­ri­ence new prod­ucts and ser­vices is mak­ing the mod­ern re­tail space very ex­cit­ing. As­pi­ra­tions and con­sump­tion is not only lim­ited to big cities like Kolkata, Bhubanesh­war, Guwahati, Ranchi, and Patna, but is ex­pand­ing rapidly in smaller cities and towns of all states in east­ern In­dia. Our fo­cus has been equally strong in small cities of the east. There is so much of op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate new re­tail for­mats, cre­ate new prod­ucts, build new ser­vices and cre­ate more jobs. It is upon mod­ern re­tail­ers now to grab this op­por­tu­nity and work to­wards build­ing a new In­dia.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Mod­ern re­tail needs mod­ern spa­ces to set up re­tail stores. Qual­ity re­tail spa­ces are far too less and de­mand in the mar­ket is far too high. The de­vel­op­ment of high street and malls has been slow. Due to con­straint of proper re­tail spa­ces, af­ford­abil­ity of re­tail spa­ces has also been a con­cern for set­ting up re­tail stores. There is a need to build in­fras­truc­ture for mod­ern re­tail spa­ces and also in­cen­tivize the cre­ators of mod­ern re­tail spa­ces and mod­ern re­tail­ers. Old laws need to be relooked at to make them more rel­e­vant for busi­ness to­day. Hav­ing said this we must men­tion that op­por­tu­nity is large and it is time that mod­ern re­tail­ers and govern­ment should work hand in hand to look at every as­pect and work to­wards mak­ing this hap­pen. Every chal­lenge leads to an op­por­tu­nity for progress and growth, hence it is time to be op­ti­mistic.

In which ar­eas do you think the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Hon­estly, I don’t think mod­ern re­tail In­dus­try has lagged be­hind in East In­dia. It is only that East In­dian cities had far too re­lied on the high street for re­tail busi­ness. De­vel­op­ment of mod­ern re­tail malls has been less and also mod­ern re­tail brands have fo­cused late in the east. Fu­ture Group has started every ven­ture from Kolkata and East In­dia since 1997 and we have al­ways been bullish and con­fi­dent on the po­ten­tial of East In­dia. I would like to quote Kishore Biyani here who al­ways says that ‘Kolkata is my Karmab­humi.’

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

RAI who rep­re­sents Re­tail­ers has been ac­tively work­ing with the Govern­ment on var­i­ous ini­tia­tives to im­prove the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor across the Na­tion. Col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach is the way for­ward. Build New Malls, Sim­plify Laws, Cre­ate More Jobs, Build more Con­sump­tion and par­tic­i­pate in Na­tion Build­ing is the theme to­day for every In­dus­try.

ANIR­BAN KUNDU, RE­GIONAL MAR­KET­ING MAN­AGER EAST & CEN­TRAL IN­DIA , MAX RE­TAIL DI­VI­SION

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Well, it’s not at all about sat­is­fac­tion rather how progress is hap­pen­ing and how you are been able to jus­tify a cru­cial role in cre­at­ing and es­tab­lish­ing the over­all im­pact of the re­tail sce­nario. Be­ing a part of the re­tail brand, a re­tail group I per­son­ally fell that, the po­ten­tial in in­dian mar­ket ac­tu­ally takes the en­tire coun­try to this level where it is now. Its again not about or­ga­nized or un­or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try rather the over­all po­ten­tial which lead to a bright fu­ture in over­all re­tail in­dus­try. The rea­sons are so many ,the In­dian re­tail in­dus­try is one of the fastest grow­ing in the world com­pare to other coun­try. Re­tail in­dus­try in In­dia is ex­pected to grow to US$ 1.3 tril­lion by 2020, reg­is­ter­ing a Com­pound An­nual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.7 per cent over 2015-20 which is huge. In­dia is the fifth largest pre­ferred re­tail des­ti­na­tion glob­ally if you check and go by data in­stead of be­ing there within most ad­verse mar­kets all around. The coun­try is among the high­est in the world in terms of per capita re­tail store avail­abil­ity.in­dia’s re­tail sec­tor is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ex­po­nen­tial growth, with re­tail de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place not just in ma­jor cities and met­ros, but also in Tier-ii and TIER-III cities.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

As I said re­tail has a big prospect in terms of ex­plor­ing busi­ness in next coming days from dif­fer­ent as­pects. Its ob­vi­ous and as per cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tion from over­all con­ve­nience fac­tor, On­line re­tail busi­ness is the next gen­er­a­tion for­mat which has high po­ten­tial for growth in the near fu­ture. Af­ter con­quer­ing phys­i­cal stores, re­tail­ers are now for­ay­ing into the do­main of e-re­tail­ing. Even we are also in the same do­main with Max­fash­ion.com. Idea is to cre­ate a sink be­tween off­line and on­line store. The readi­ness and con­ve­nience cus­tomers are get­ting from off­line store will be pro­vided via on­line path also and that’s how cre­at­ing this omni flow con­nec­tiv­ity. Al­most all re­tail­ers are on same path and cre­at­ing next level of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, coming out of the mo­nop­oly word called cus­tomer ser­vice. That’s the next level, that’s the new con­se­quences for a cus­tomer to look re­tail in a dif­fer­ent way. Be it mall, be it brand, be it any form of re­tail, this ap­pli­ca­tion can be ap­plied any­where and it ac­tu­ally ex­plores dif­fer­ent aura al­to­gether. E-com­merce is ex­pected to be the next ma­jor area sup­port­ing re­tail growth in In­dia.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks have to be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Chal­lenges are so many and if I go by end to end it cover up more ar­eas but I feel th­ese are the main is­sues which cre­ate the ba­sic prob­lems and chal­lenges. To over­come, I per­son­ally sug­gests and high­light few ar­eas which I feel in east has to be given more fo­cused. Re­tail­ing as an in­dus­try in East In­dia has still a long way to go since it has the max­i­mum potet­ntial be­ing the most diver­si­fied re­gion from each and every an­gle. To be­come a truly flour­ish­ing in­dus­try, re­tail­ing needs to over­come the bot­tle­necks of – Reg­u­la­tions re­strict­ing real estate pur­chases and cum­ber­some lo­cal laws, Tax­a­tion, which favours small re­tail busi­nesses till now, though with ad­vent of GST we are ex­pect­ing this is­sue will be over­comed, Ab­sence of de­vel­oped sup­ply chain and in­te­grated IT man­age­ment, Lack of trained work force, Low skill level for re­tail­ing man­age­ment, In­trin­sic com­plex­ity of re­tail­ing – rapid price changes, con­stant threat of prod­uct ob­so­les­cence and low mar­gins.

In which ar­eas do you think the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

East is called the re­tail mar­ket for tomorrow with its so much of po­ten­tial. The east In­dian econ­omy has grown by about nine per cent an­nu­ally over the last 3 years and even higher growth rates are be­ing pro­jected in the fu­ture. Malls and large size de­part­ment stores have be­come a fix­ture in the ur­ban landscape across the east In­dian coun­tries. The im­por­tance of manag­ing re­tail­ing ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively is ob­vi­ous in the light of this sec­tor’s growth po­ten­tial and the in­creas­ing lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion. The emer­gence of or­ga­nized re­tail­ing has given rise to the need for a whole new set of busi­ness skills and com­pe­ten­cies re­quired to ef­fi­ciently man­age or­ga­nized re­tail oper­a­tions. In ad­di­tion, it has posed tremen­dous chal­lenges to ex­ist­ing pro­duc­ers of goods and ser­vices - they

now need to re­visit their dis­tri­bu­tion poli­cies and dis­tri­bu­tion re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment strate­gies with trained man­power who can guide con­sumers not as a sales guy but as a fash­ion con­sul­tant. Among many is­sues we have here, value of as­sort­ment, pur­chase ex­pe­ri­ence, lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain is­sues, fi­nanc­ing op­tions, chan­nel con­sol­i­da­tion, vol­ume driven re­la­tion­ships and peo­ple strate­gies have ac­quired com­pletely new di­men­sions and th­ese are the ar­eas where we re­ally need to work upon and ex­plore new op­por­tu­ni­ties. Even other­wise, since shop­ping is all-per­va­sive re­tail­ing is im­por­tant, both eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially, since it af­fects a large pop­u­lace in the form of con­sumers and em­ploy­ers. Th­ese all ac­tu­ally cre­ate the fallen short ar­eas which we re­ally need to over­come to cre­ate the growth in east.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

That’s an in­ter­est­ing part which is com­pletely based out of ex­pec­ta­tion and as­sur­ance, though since the in­cep­tion stage of re­tail in east, till now, govern­ment has done so many things to boost the re­tail sec­tor in East Specif­i­cally. Govern­ment pol­icy with re­gard to de­vel­op­ment of re­tail in­dus­try has been lib­eral and mo­ti­vat­ing in all cir­cum­stances. The traders/ re­tail­ers reg­is­ter their out­lets/shops with con­cerned au­thor­i­ties in var­i­ous Cities in East and by hon­or­ing sales tax and other obli­ga­tions of the state con­cerned, they can run their re­tail busi­ness very eas­ily. With that, till now, there is no con­straint on the en­try of any do­mes­tic busi­ness house into re­tail sec­tor. Gov­ern­ments need to con­stantly ques­tion whether there is a bet­ter or more ef­fi­cient way of achiev­ing ob­jec­tives. Im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency can in­volve re­duc­ing the costs of pro­duc­tion for each unit of out­put pro­duced but, equally, might be achieved by bet­ter match­ing the sup­ply of goods and ser­vices to those things peo­ple want most or by re­mov­ing bar­ri­ers to in­no­va­tion and flex­i­bil­ity.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Or­gan­ised re­tail has come a long way. It has been an evolv­ing process. How­ever, there has been con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment in cus­tomer cen­tric be­hav­iour and bet­ter am­bi­ence but more work needs to be done.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

Mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try will be mov­ing to­wards an Om­nichan­nel plat­form with an on­line and off­line pres­ence go­ing hand in hand.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

The big­gest chal­lenge is good af­ford­able re­tail space, trained man­power and proper in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure in re­tail. Also, govern­ment pol­icy should change for greater re­tail flex­i­bil­ity and greater growth of over­all busi­ness.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Spend­ing power of con­sumers, vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing and trained man­power with cus­tomer cen­tric at­ti­tude is what the in­dus­try lacks.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

More train­ing re­quired for man­power and re­tail friendly poli­cies by govern­ment.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Re­tail in­dus­try has seen steady growth in the last one decade specif­i­cally in the east. A lot more brands are avail­able as com­pared to 10 years back with pres­ence of malls and high street clus­ters in most metro and Tier II and III towns. With the rapidly chang­ing con­sumer pro­file and as­pi­ra­tions, it re­mains a chal­lenge for re­tail­ers to keep up with shift­ing shop­ping de­mands. Shop­pers to­day are more

dis­cern­ing and bet­ter in­formed about prod­ucts and ser­vices than ever be­fore, ex­pect­ing a cer­tain stan­dard of shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence from re­tail­ers. This might be a global trend, but in to­day’s glob­al­ized en­vi­ron­ment, sim­i­lar con­sumer trends may be repli­cated across most lo­cal mar­kets too—in­clud­ing that of In­dia. Con­sumers in smaller towns are ready to spend money for good value and we will con­tinue to see this trend in the years to come as brands make foray into th­ese towns.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

De­spite the struc­tural chal­lenges and bu­reau­cratic bot­tle­necks that the In­dian re­tail mar­ket suf­fers from, global re­tail­ers have been queu­ing up to en­ter and es­tab­lish their foot­print in the mar­ket, as they are aware of its po­ten­tial growth op­por­tu­ni­ties. Growth has al­most plateaued in most de­vel­oped mar­kets, pro­vid­ing lit­tle room for re­tail­ers to drive their busi­ness ex­pan­sion amid grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion across seg­ments. The In­dian mar­ket be­ing largely un­der­pen­e­trated, of­fers sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity for growth—es­pe­cially in seg­ments such as F&B, fash­ion ap­parel, and lux­ury goods—due to fac­tors such as an ex­pand­ing mid­dle class, ris­ing dis­pos­able in­comes, and a grow­ing ap­petite for in­ter­na­tional qual­ity goods and ser­vices among In­dian con­sumers.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

The big­gest chal­lenges faced are lack of good real estate de­vel­op­ments for Re­tail in Tier II and III towns. Most town’s brands have to go to the high-street mar­ket and look for run-down stores and then mod­ern­ize them. Work­ing with smaller floor plates and lo­cal land­lords can be a bit of a te­dious ex­er­cise. The lack of re­tail space will be the sole chal­lenge in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Am­ple space and in­fras­truc­ture Man­power train­ing and cus­tomer sup­port Brand show­case/flag­ship stores for ex­pe­ri­ence – most ex­pe­ri­ence stores are ei­ther in Mum­bai, Delhi or Ban­ga­lore to­day For most brands in­vest­ing and ex­pan­sion in the East is the last pri­or­ity – for eg. Star­bucks cof­fee, Zara are yet to open stores in East­ern In­dia – Zara has been present in In­dia for the last seven years now.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

Both the govern­ment as well as the in­dus­try should fo­cus on cre­at­ing some re­tail parks and hubs. Whole­salers should be pro­moted – most of the hawker mar­kets which cities like Kolkata thrive on can be a sym­bi­otic ex­is­tence with mod­ern re­tail if the norms and reg­u­la­tions are main­tained and govern­ment cre­ated more in­fras­truc­ture for the smaller play­ers. Most of the in­dus­try and govern­ment fo­cus is on the man­u­fac­tur­ing side but no one is cre­at­ing enough ef­fort to in­crease re­tail­ing pres­ence for bet­ter con­sumer ac­ces­si­bil­ity to good qual­ity prod­ucts.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Ab­so­lutely, there has been marked progress in or­ga­nized re­tail across east In­dia. This growth can be at­trib­uted to the growth of the mid­dle-class seg­ment, rise in dis­pos­able in­comes and a grow­ing as­pi­ra­tion for im­proved liv­ing stan­dards. To­day, we have most na­tional brands present, and very few have shut shop within the last 10 years.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

Un­like rest of In­dia- the east­ern re­gion has lower num­ber of ur­ban­ized cities. How­ever, with ad­vent of Smart cities’ and de­vel­op­ment of the ex­ist­ing towns will give the nec­es­sary im­pe­tus to the re­tail in­fras­truc­ture of the re­gion. This apart, the value seg­ment is ex­pected to drive the on­line to off­line (O2O) re­tail growth in the near fu­ture.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Pri­marc be­lieves that lack of ur­ban­iza­tion and lim­ited op­tions in or­ga­nized large scale for­mats con­tin­ues to be a chal­lenge for re­tail­ers try­ing to es­tab­lish a foothold in the east. There are less shop­ping malls in the east­ern re­gion when com­pared to the na­tional av­er­age.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

There is an over­all deficit in en­ter­tain­ment seg­ment vis-à-vis rest of In­dia. To­day, cities like Ban­ga­lore, Gur­gaon, Noida, Hyderabad, Mum­bai boast of umpteen op­tions in high­end sports en­ter­tain­ment like Play Arena, Smaaash, etc when com­pared to the east­ern cities. Mean­while, the NCR, Mum­bai or even an Ahmed­abad has choic­est op­tions in Home Dé­cor & Life­style seg­ment as op­posed to the east­ern cities.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

Many states have in­tro­duced flex­i­ble labour laws and store tim­ings which have helped the in­dus­try. More planned de­vel­op­ment in or­ga­nized re­tail for­mats will add the nec­es­sary mo­men­tum to growth of re­tail in East In­dia.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Kolkata has been the birth­place for many of the lead­ing re­tail cor­po­rate houses. The mod­ern re­tail has come up well in Kolkata and all the re­tail ver­ti­cals find op­er­at­ing in the city quite con­ducive. The same though can’t be said about other mar­kets of East In­dia, but Kolkata and West Ben­gal as an over­all mar­ket has grown quite or­gan­i­cally.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

Mod­ern Re­tail is inch­ing to­ward om­nichan­neli­sa­tion, it’s the quin­tes­sen­tial pa­ram­e­ter for re­tail 2.0, to serve the dis­creet and dis­cern­ing cus­tomers, we need to move to­ward mak­ing our busi­nesses hy­brid and we need to em­brace om­nichan­nel re­tail­ing. Also, in fu­ture brick-and-mor­tar need to up the ante by giv­ing ex­pe­ri­en­tial ser­vices to the cus­tomers and by mak­ing their of­fer­ings more per­son­alised.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks have to be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Re­tail in gen­eral in In­dia is fac­ing many tur­bu­lences, one of the prob­lem, which is more spe­cific to East In­dia is that the rental per sq.ft is higher than sales per sq.ft and this im­pacts the bot­tom­lines of the re­tail­ers.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

Govern­ment can play a role in cre­at­ing re­tail zon­ing, it is there in every de­vel­oped econ­omy and as re­tail in In­dia is one of the most im­por­tant sec­tors, which is gen­er­at­ing so much em­ploy­ment and is con­tribut­ing to the GDP, I think it is im­per­a­tive now to cre­ate spe­cial zones for re­tail in the coun­try. Talking specif­i­cally about East, I think this re­gion lack good high streets, so Govern­ment can work in the di­rec­tion of cre­at­ing bet­ter re­tail high streets.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

East is a pe­cu­liar mar­ket when com­pared with the rest of the coun­try. Most of the east­ern fringe states have seen de­vel­op­ment ben­e­fits much later than their north­ern or western coun­ter­parts. Bi­har, Jhark­hand and Odisha in par­tic­u­lar have taken the de­vel­op­ment leap in the last 10 years. As a re­sult of sta­ble lo­cal gov­ern­ments, states in east­ern In­dia have seen sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. I feel go­ing for­ward we will con­tinue to pro­pose a string ru­ral de­mand which in turn means good growth for re­tail.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

The next 10 years are ex­tremely crit­i­cal for the re­tail in­dus­try. We will see mas­sive dig­i­tal­iza­tion in the next two to three years, which will need all re­tail­ers to evolve. Fast and cheap In­ter­net ac­cess will keep con­sumers well in­formed and hence their shop­ping pat­terns will evolve from what they are to­day. Ru­ral de­vel­op­ment will force re­tail­ers to look to­wards vil­lages and de­sign brick and mor­tar mod­els unique to th­ese mar­kets. 10 years down the line, mod­ern re­tail may have a more hu­man and tra­di­tional face than what it has to­day.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

The in­dus­try has se­vere short­age of qual­ity hu­man re­source. This is pri­mar­ily be­cause peo­ple don’t still see re­tail as a pri­mary ca­reer choice in east­ern In­dia. Real estate needs to be de­signed around re­tail needs and the govern­ment needs feel how tax­ing a phys­i­cal store makes it non-vi­able com­pared to vir­tual stores on­line.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

While the con­sumers in the west and south have been ex­posed to mod­ern re­tail for longer than con­sumers in the east, I feel we are still miles be­hind in terms of us­age of tech­nol­ogy. Re­tail­ers from east are still tra­di­tional and not very open to changes.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

The govern­ment needs to rec­og­nize us as an emerg­ing in­dus­try. It needs to take cog­nizance of the fact that the en­vi­ron­ment in this in­dus­try is evolv­ing very fast and what was rel­e­vant five years ago is to­tally ir­rel­e­vant now. Shop­pers are uber­ing into malls and park­ing lots are now dead spa­ces. Reg­u­la­tions such as the shop es­tab­lish­ment act needs to be re­vis­ited in light of mod­ern re­tail prac­tices. A con­sumer shop­ping at mid­night on­line is not re­stricted by any act where as a re­tailer open­ing his store on na­tional hol­i­days and elec­tion days has to face penal­ties and fines by lo­cal bod­ies. It’s time the in­dus­try and govern­ment came on the same page and worked for the bet­ter­ment of the in­dus­try.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

In com­par­i­son to the rest of In­dia, I feel or­gan­ised re­tail in the East has done phe­nom­e­nally well. Kolkata has been the bench­mark, for a num­ber of mall de­vel­op­ers across the coun­try to study the suc­cess of malls. From Forum Mall to South City, from City Cen­tre to Quest, the suc­cess of malls in the East, and in par­tic­u­lar Kolkata has been ab­so­lutely re­mark­able. It isn’t rocket sci­ence why brands like Pan­taloons, Shop­pers Stop, Big Bazaar and Max amongst many oth­ers are clock­ing their high­est sales in this part of the coun­try. The loy­alty that a brand en­joys in the East, is dif­fi­cult to fathom any­where else in the coun­try. All this has hap­pened in the last 10 years.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

There is no doubt that with new en­trants like H&M, Zara, For­ever 21 and Uniqlo amongst many oth­ers, the East will con­tinue to evolve. Healthy com­pe­ti­tion makes any brand wake up and re­strate­gise. To be hon­est, the brands that have en­joyed stu­pen­dous suc­cess in the East, will need to re­think their strat­egy go­ing for­ward to en­joy the same suc­cess af­ter 10 years, that they may have en­joyed till date.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Firstly, I be­lieve that rents are very high in the East. For a brand to sur­vive, one must have rea­son­able over­heads where one gets a chance to make money. Once a brand is prof­itable in a ter­ri­tory it would cer­tainly ex­pand more ag­gres­sively. Se­condly, there is a lack of qual­ity real estate in terms of op­tions avail­able. We have 10 malls in Kolkata whereas the city is mov­ing fur­ther to­wards or­gansed re­tail. We could do with an­other 10 malls in the next 10 years. Sadly, we don’t hear of too many new malls be­ing de­vel­oped. Skilled man­power for re­tail is an­other area where I feel the East could im­prove.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Mod­ern re­tail isn’t lack­ing at all in the East. In my opin­ion, it is the un­or­gan­ised sec­tor that is lack­ing. They are com­pletely di­vided over a num­ber of is­sues and as a re­sult with the strong steps be­ing taken by the cur­rent govern­ment to­wards or­gan­is­ing the re­tail sec­tor fur­ther, the or­gan­ised re­tail stands to ben­e­fit even more.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

The in­dus­try should unite and have rep­re­sen­ta­tives who could rep­re­sent re­tail­ers and in­ter­act with the bu­reau­crats, per­sons in power and de­ci­sion mak­ers to pro­vide more peo­ple like us, in the or­gan­ised trade more sup­port go­ing for­ward. The Govern­ment needs to recog­nise re­tail as a big con­trib­u­tor to the tax rev­enue cof­fers and should take steps to take to task, those that are not com­pli­ant.

How can one sell in malls with huge over­heads, for ex­am­ple if 2 streets away, hawk­ers are sell­ing cheaper with­out any ac­count­abil­ity? It may take time, but such sit­u­a­tions need to be taken into con­trol, which only the Govern­ment can do. All I can say it is a mat­ter of time and in a few years, or­gan­ised re­tail will be an even big­ger force to reckon with given the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion and ris­ing as­pi­ra­tions.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

The ad­vent of mall cul­ture and coming of or­gan­ised brands has helped the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor grow in East In­dia. Food as a sec­tor has grown re­ally well in East­ern re­gion, Kolkata, Siliguri, Bhubanesh­war, Patna and North­east mar­kets. We plan to open 20 out­lets in Siliguri and Bhubanesh­war com­bined by the end of this year, tak­ing our store count to 130.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

East In­dia is the most com­mer­cially vi­able and po­ten­tial mar­ket for re­tail. There is lot of scope for growth in East­ern re­gions. There are var­i­ous sig­nif­i­cant mar­kets, which are still vir­gin but prom­ise a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Other re­gions like North, South or West have grown to their op­ti­mum level and are now sat­u­rated but East­ern In­dia is the land of op­por­tu­nity and is full of po­ten­tial. A lot of na­tional/in­ter­na­tional brands have al­ready for­ayed into the re­gion and with the coming of good re­tail re­alty projects, the prospects for the re­gion are re­ally bright.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

When we started our busi­ness, peo­ple in East couldn’t vi­su­alise a brand that ex­clu­sively sold ‘Mo­mos,’ so we didn’t get space in malls and East In­dia has paucity of good high streets - some­thing which they need to des­per­ately work on. De­spite be­ing an East­ern brand, we got ac­cep­tance in South In­dia. When we opened our first out­let in Phoenix Mar­ketc­ity, Bengaluru, we be­came fa­mous and started be­ing ac­cepted all over the coun­try and even in Kolkata and later in other parts of East In­dia. I feel that the East needs to be more ac­cept­ing and re­cep­tive to­wards indige­nous and in­no­va­tive re­tail play­ers.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

The govern­ment can do a lot bet­ter than what it has been do­ing. Li­cens­ing needs to be eased. The re­tail sec­tor needs in­dus­try sta­tus, not only in East but all over In­dia.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Well, there has been good growth in terms of con­sumer’s pur­chas­ing power is con­cerned when we talk about East In­dia es­pe­cially West Ben­gal, which is pre­dom­i­nantly the big­gest money gen­er­a­tor in east­ern part of In­dia. In fact, there has been sat­is­fac­tory growth in terms of con­sumer pur­chas­ing power - pri­mar­ily due to in­crease in the pen­e­tra­tion of branded stores, and the re­tail busi­ness turn­ing from un­or­ga­nized to or­ga­nized. Lux­ury buy­ing is also show­ing a mar­ginal im­prove­ment. There has also been sub­stan­tial in­crease in the buy­ing power of the new mid­dle class. The busi­ness is pre­dom­i­nantly de­pen­dent on mid­dle class. Other states in east­ern In­dia like Orissa, Bi­har, Jhark­hand, North East and suburbs of Ben­gal are grow­ing rapidly. Or­ga­nized re­tail pen­e­tra­tion has in­creased dras­ti­cally in the last three years. Keep­ing in mind the pre­vail­ing mar­ket dy­nam­ics, we ex­pect to see pos­i­tive growth in the coming years.

How, ac­cord­ing to you, will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

In the next few years the key in­flu­enc­ing fac­tors which would evolve would be con­sumer be­hav­ior, shift from un­or­ga­nized to or­ga­nized re­tail­ing, tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments in the re­tail sec­tor, and mo­bil­ity.

Con­sumers now re­search more; they are more learned and em­pow­ered. They have data at their fingertips and hence are more price aware and brand aware. Hence, re­tail­ers will have to strive hard to of­fer its con­sumer unique­ness in in-store ex­pe­ri­ence. To give con­sumers a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence cus­tomiza­tion and per­son­al­i­sa­tion will be­come im­por­tant. Om­nichan­nel re­tail­ing will be the need of the era. De­liv­er­ing an Om­nichan­nel cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence will be­come a key brand dif­fer­en­tia­tor for re­tail­ers who want to drive in­creased loy­alty and sat­is­fac­tion among con­sumers. More and more re­tail­ers are try­ing to make Om­nichan­nel cus­tomer en­gage­ment a pri­or­ity. In the race to give a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence to its con­sumers re­tail­ers will need to adopt tech­nol­ogy. Re­tail­ers would con­tinue to in­vest in apps, so­cial me­dia driven con­sump­tion, vir­tual re­al­ity and much more. To­day all con­ven­tional me­dia like print ads, tele­vi­sion, ra­dios, cam­eras, and com­put­ers have all con­verged into a sin­gle in­stru­ment - a smart­phone. Due to the in­tro­duc­tion of 4G, dig­i­tal­iza­tion and cash­less trans­ac­tions will be great in­flu­encers and hence mo­bil­ity will play a very im­por­tant role in re­tail­ing. In­dia is set to ex­pe­ri­ence a dy­namic trans­for­ma­tion in the on­go­ing re­tail boom that has struck a chord with In­dian cit­i­zens, par­tic­u­larly the youth! On the trans­form­ing In­dian re­tail mar­ket that is catch­ing up the pulse of youth on all kinds of dig­i­tal plat­form along with a strong fo­cus on the In­dian con­sumers, im­por­tance needs to be given to tech­nol­ogy as well as of­fer­ing qual­ity ser­vices.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Re­view­ing cur­rent so­cial and cul­tural trends, the big­gest chal­lenge is to in­tro­duce and as­sim­i­late the right tech­nol­ogy into our daily oper­a­tions, with the ob­jec­tive of in­creas­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. In a mar­ket like In­dia, per­sonal re­la­tion­ships are very im­por­tant; how­ever, cer­tain tech­nolo­gies and dig­i­tal ser­vices ir­refutably as­sist in cre­at­ing a fric­tion­less cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, when th­ese cus­tomers shift be­tween chan­nels. Thus, the chal­lenge is to find the right mix of per­sonal touch and tech­no­log­i­cal of­fer­ings to en­sure the high­est level of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion at­tain­able.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

In­no­va­tion is the key to suc­cess for any Re­tail brand in the world. Ac­cord­ing to me In­no­va­tion and speed­ily get­ting adapted to newer busi­ness model is one of the big­gest lag­ging in this part of the In­dia. The con­sumer mind­set and the en­tre­pre­neur mind­set both needs to change faster than the pace we are cur­rently in. Adap­ta­tion of tech­nol­ogy, un­der­stand­ing the dis­rup­tive busi­ness mod­els and bring­ing in new changes ac­cord­ingly is some­thing which we need to be faster at.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

West Ben­gal, be­ing the big­gest money spin­ner in east­ern In­dia, es­pe­cially in terms of cor­po­rate houses or busi­ness houses putting up sub­stan­tial money into build­ing up In­dus­tries in West Ben­gal, the ob­jec­tive of achiev­ing a de­sir­able and sub­stan­tial growth will not be pos­si­ble. More­over, young adults who are our fu­ture TG are mi­grat­ing out­side East ei­ther out of the coun­try or to other states which is a con­cern for this part of our coun­try. How­ever, we are still hope­ful of this turn­around tak­ing place in fu­ture with the govern­ment tak­ing up cor­rec­tive mea­sures in re­spect to im­prove the im­age of West Ben­gal in the eyes of In­dus­trial gi­ants.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia up un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

The or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try in east­ern In­dia has seen good growth un­til now. In­dia’s re­tail in­dus­try ac­counts for the largest chunk among all other in­dus­tries, mak­ing up over 10 per­cent of the coun­try’s GDP and pro­vid­ing around 8 per­cent em­ploy­ment. In the past decade, the growth of the mid­dle class in east­ern In­dia as well as a rise in dis­pos­able in­comes among them have been fac­tors in im­prov­ing over­all liv­ing stan­dards and life­styles. The growth of the re­tail sec­tor has rid­den this to a great ex­tent. Also, east­ern In­dia has over the last decade or so wit­nessed the emer­gence of big re­tail gi­ants that not only boosted busi­ness for the re­gion but also in­flu­enced Si­maaya’s growth as an or­ga­nized re­tail brand.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next ten years?

It is ex­pected that the value of In­dia’s re­tail mar­ket will sub­stan­tially in­crease by the end of 2017. If this num­ber is to be pushed fur­ther, then the fo­cus needs to shift from tra­di­tional zones of north and west and seek out the east and north east zones. The east has great po­ten­tial and will take a lead in the near fu­ture. Also, the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try will cre­ate thou­sands of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties which will in turn lift many house­holds from the low in­come groups.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks have to be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

There needs to be more struc­ture for this in­dus­try in east­ern In­dia. An­other ma­jor chal­lenge is thatthere is a marked dif­fer­ence in the shop­ping habits of the peo­ple from th­ese parts when com­pared to other parts of In­dia. Im­prove­ments in ex­ist­ing in­fras­truc­ture and changes in peo­ple’s shop­ping at­ti­tudes will help to boost the re­tail sec­tor in east­ern In­dia. With the sup­port of the govern­ment and more fo­cus on un­lock­ing the­mas­sive un­tapped po­ten­tial of the re­gion, we can go a long way in mak­ing east­ern In­dia take a lead in mod­ern re­tail.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

The mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging be­hind in east­ern In­dia be­cause of short­age of prop­erly trained man power. Work con­di­tions def­i­nitely need to be im­proved. We should also place more fo­cus on en­trepreneur­ship, to in­volve more peo­ple so that with more work cre­ation, qual­ity of life in the eco­nom­i­cally chal­lenged groups may be uplifted. Only then the or­di­nary con­sumer will soon wake up to the power of the re­tail in­dus­try and con­trib­ute to mak­ing the east a leader in mod­ern re­tail. For this, one needs en­cour­age­ment from both the govern­ment and other bod­ies who can to­gether steer east­ern In­dia proudly as a leader on the na­tional re­tail map.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

There are many projects that are be­ing un­der­taken by the West Ben­gal govern­ment like the “Ben­gal Leads” pro­gramme. Apart from West Ben­gal, Bhubaneswar in Orissa is also emerg­ing as a new re­tail hub of east­ern In­dia. Other cities in east In­dia have also wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic booms. From the point of view of in­dus­tries the east still re­mains quite un­tapped. So the po­ten­tial of east­ern In­dia should be ex­plored in greater depth, as it can soon be­come the per­fect mod­ern re­tail mar­ket for the fu­ture. Over the past few years, re­tail­ers have re­al­ized the scope and op­por­tu­nity of this zone and they will reap the de­mo­graphic div­i­dend.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Progress is slow but it is on the right path. Ten years ago, the setup was at zero level and from there we have now reached a point where this in­dus­try can be seen as a pro­gres­sive one.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

The next 10 years is go­ing to be cru­cial. And it’s just not about on­line chan­nel or in­ter­na­tional brands or brick-and-mor­tar. It is go­ing to be about how fast the in­dus­try is adapt­ing to the needs of the con­sumer. The cus­tomer has al­ways been the king and in the coming 10 years, this ful­fill­ment of de­mands and de­sires will be the de­cider of how this in­dus­try in­volves. The mer­chan­dis­ing as­pect is go­ing to evolve in a huge way.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Lo­cal is­sues con­tinue to be the big­gest prob­lem and chal­lenge fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia. It isn’t easy ex­plor­ing busi­ness av­enues. The in­dus­try will only be able to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial here once th­ese lo­cal is­sues are sorted. Tran­sit time is also a chal­lenge which kills out a lot. Max­i­mum busi­ness vol­ume gen­er­at­ing comes from a Delhi or a Mum­bai and thus cen­tral­iza­tion is one prob­lem.

In which ar­eas is mod­ern re­tail lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Un­der­stand­ing mer­chan­dis­ing as­pects— Every re­gion is spe­cific and this should be a key cri­te­ria to see growth in busi­ness. Lack of big play­ers—there are po­ten­tial play­ers across the Coun­try whose pres­ence is be­ing missed.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

As men­tioned ear­lier, it’s the lo­cal is­sues which need to be re­solved and set­tled. Un­less sta­bil­ity is seen in the re­gion, Mod­ern Re­tail Sec­tor can­not see any boost.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

The or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has been grow­ing at a healthy pace. Last 10 years have been a ma­jor change, with con­sumers, now, choos­ing more to buy from or­ga­nized re­tail player.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try will evolve in the next 10 years?

With the on­set of GST the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try will now see a ma­jor boom. Ear­lier many peo­ple who were un­der the un­or­ga­nized re­tail sec­tor, were avoid­ing taxes and thereby en­joy­ing price ad­van­tage over the or­ga­nized play­ers.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks have to be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

There are 3 ma­jor bot­tle­necks which have to be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial… 1.Avail­abil­ity of qual­ity real estate in rea­son­able price 2. Scarcity of skilled & ed­u­cated man­power 3.High rates of tax­a­tion

In which ar­eas do you think the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

East is not lag­ging be­hind, grow­ing at the rea­son­able pace which can be ab­sorbed by the con­sumers. Too much first growth leads to higher per­cent­age of fail­ures.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

In­dus­try should or­ga­nize train­ing and wel­fare meets with all the peo­ple. Govern­ment should make changes in Law, which are now age old. Laws should be amended ac­cord­ing to mod­ern time and need. The In­spec­tor Raj should be abol­ished. Tax­a­tion should be mod­er­ate.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

The or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown ex­po­nen­tially over the last 10 years. The most noted de­vel­op­ment has been the rapid growth of e-com­merce, which has com­pletely changed the game for re­tail brands across In­dia.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, we will see more in­stances of Omn­in­han­nel re­tail­ing i.e. cater­ing both to on­line and tra­di­tional brick-and-mor­tar re­tail mod­els. This will lead to reach­ing out to a wider cus­tomer base. Also, I be­lieve more per­son­al­iza­tion will lead to achiev­ing a com­plete and seam­less cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

One of the pri­mary is­sues plagu­ing this in­dus­try is the lack of proper Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment. Adding to that are the re­cent eco­nomic trends and com­plex tax regimes, which have fur­ther com­pli­cated the work­ing of mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try. Also, the lack of ad­e­quate in­fras­truc­ture and lo­gis­tics leads to a ham­per­ing in the pro­duc­tiv­ity lev­els as well. In or­der to max­i­mize our growth po­ten­tial, the in­dus­try has to re­solve the above ar­eas of con­cern and also ac­cel­er­ate its shift to tier II & tier III cities from tra­di­tional tier I cities.

In which ar­eas do you think the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging in the East? Where do you think the in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

A ma­jor pit­fall for the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia has been the fact that it’s still pretty much an un­or­ga­nized struc­ture. In or­der to rise up to its po­ten­tial and grow, the in­dus­try has to be­gin fol­low­ing a com­pre­hen­sive, or­ga­nized struc­ture.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

The in­dus­try has to take up a more or­ga­nized struc­ture, in­vest more ef­forts in the tier II and III cities and im­prove its sup­ply chain man­age­ment. As for the govern­ment, sim­pli­fy­ing the tax regimes and cre­at­ing a bet­ter in­fras­truc­ture will make a marked dif­fer­ence in the growth of the in­dus­try.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Or­ga­nized re­tail­ing has started to emerge with the growth of large stand­alone stores like de­part­men­tal stores, su­per­mar­kets etc. and large for­mat re­tail out­lets like hy­per­mar­kets, malls etc. The or­ga­nized in­dus­try is not a com­mon and known fea­ture in the East Zone but has been im­prov­ing in the last five years. There has been an in­crease in the power of re­tail­ers in the mar­ket­ing chan­nels for pack­aged goods (i.e.; pack­aged foods and bev­er­ages and branded health and beauty aids). Big cor­po­rate houses like Re­liance, ITC, Tata et al are en­ter­ing the re­tail seg­ment. Lib­er­al­ized pol­icy of the govern­ment and change in con­sumer tastes and pref­er­ence have also re­sulted in a re­tail rev­o­lu­tion. Most or­ga­nized re­tail­ers tend to start their oper­a­tions in larger cities. They pre­fer to re­main re­gional and lo­cal un­til they have sat­u­rated the mar­ket and then they move to other cities or lo­ca­tions. Hence, the North­east re­gion has been at­tract­ing in­ter­est re­cently as com­mu­ni­ca­tion and trans­porta­tion links have im­proved. The re­tail mar­ket In East In­dia is highly frag­mented mainly dom­i­nated by the tra­di­tional for­mats of re­tail­ing. But, in re­cent times, or­ga­nized re­tail­ing has be­come one of the emerg­ing trends in In­dia. The re­tail in­dus­try in In­dia is un­der­go­ing a ma­jor change as the coun­try is wit­ness­ing a re­tail rev­o­lu­tion. Or­ga­nized re­tail­ing is spread­ing and mak­ing its pres­ence felt in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try. The North­east­ern states of In­dia have also wit­nessed such sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment in the field of re­tail­ing. With fac­tors like In­crease in dis­pos­able in­comes, brand con­scious­ness, in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ments, qual­ity real estate and changes in tech­nol­ogy and pref­er­ences, I see the re­tail in­dus­try more or­ga­nized and well up­dated to global stan­dards in the next 10 years.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

Fac­tors that are play­ing a role in fu­el­ing the bright fu­ture of the In­dian re­tail are: The in­come of an av­er­age In­dian is in­creas­ing and thus there is a pro­por­tional in­crease in the pur­chas­ing power. The in­fras­truc­ture is im­prov­ing greatly in all re­gions and is ben­e­fit­ing the mar­ket. In­di­ans make good con­sumers, and all na­tional and in­ter­na­tional brands are ben­e­fit­ing with this new aware­ness. An­other fac­tor is the In­ter­net rev­o­lu­tion, which is al­low­ing for­eign brands to un­der­stand In­dian con­sumers and in­flu­ence them be­fore en­ter­ing the mar­ket. Due to the reach of me­dia in the re­motest of the mar­kets, con­sumers are now aware of the global prod­ucts and it helps brands build them­selves faster in a new re­gion. How­ever, de­spite th­ese fac­tors con­tribut­ing to the growth of In­dian re­tail In­dus­try, there are a few chal­lenges that the in­dus­try faces which need to be dealt with in or­der to re­al­ize the com­plete scope of growth in In­dian mar­ket. For­eign di­rect in­vest­ment is not al­lowed in re­tail sec­tor, which can be a con­cern for many brands. But fran­chise agree­ments cir­cum­vent this prob­lem. Along with this reg­u­la­tions and lo­cal laws and real estate pur­chase re­stric­tions bring up chal­lenges. Other than this lack of in­te­grated sup­ply chain and man­age­ment and lack of trained work­force and flux of the mar­ket in terms of price and prod­uct choice also need to be elim­i­nated. Or­ga­nized re­tail rep­re­sents a large un­tapped mar­ket in In­dia that is likely to see tremen­dous growth in the coming years. New en­trants are bound to see large re­turns. How­ever, they must adapt them­selves to the unique state of re­tail in In­dia where in­fras­truc­ture and reg­u­la­tions pro­vide lit­tle sup­port. They must also un­der­stand the tastes of the In­dian con­sumer who has only re­cently started treat­ing re­tail as a form of leisure. Mean­while or­ga­nized re­tail will con­tinue to dis­place many un­or­ga­nized re­tail­ers.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks must be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

A long way to meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards Lack of ef­fi­cient sup­ply-chain man­age­ment Lack of re­quired re­tail space No fixed con­sump­tion pat­tern Short­age of trained man­power Lack of proper in­fras­truc­ture and dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nel Short­age of tal­ented and qual­i­fied work­force

In which ar­eas do you think the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

There are many projects that the West Ben­gal Govern­ment is tak­ing un­der ‘Ben­gal Leads’ Pro­gramme. Apart from West Ben­gal, Bhubaneswar in Orissa is be­com­ing a new IT and ed­u­ca­tion hub. Other cities in East In­dia, such as Bokaro, Ranchi, Patna, Rourkela, Dhan­bad and Jamshed­pur have wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic booms be­cause of the rich min­eral re­sources found in th­ese places. Th­ese cities have high dis­pos­able in­come but lack of re­tail hubs, and brands.

One can rightly say that be­tween 1960 and the mid-1990s, many large size fac­to­ries were closed or down­sized be­cause of lack of cap­i­tal and re­sources cou­pled with a long stand­ing tra­di­tion of trade union­ism. Kolkata’s eco­nomic re­vival was led largely by IT ser­vices, and be­cause of it there has been surge of in­vest­ment in real estate be it hous­ing projects or re­tail real estate. East­ern In­dia has all the po­ten­tial to be­come an up­com­ing hub of mod­ern re­tail. But cer­tain fac­tors, in­clud­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tion of en­trepreneur­ship, cre­ation of qual­ity in­fras­truc­ture and up­lift­ment of poor are crit­i­cal if con­sumers in East In­dia are to take the lead in mod­ern re­tail. East In­dia is like a cheque ready to be en­cased, only if the state gov­ern­ments agree to un­lock the mas­sive un­tapped po­ten­tial of the re­gion with­out fur­ther de­lay and al­low the peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the re­tail evo­lu­tion sweep­ing across the coun­try. Mod­ern re­tail will also cre­ate thou­sands of jobs in the re­gion and will lift many house­holds from the low-in­come cat­e­gory.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

The in­dus­try and the govern­ment can help im­mensely to to­wards an Or­ga­nized Re­tail In­dus­try in east In­dia. Coming up with more lib­er­ated laws and poli­cies for FDI would im­mensely in­crease the global stan­dards and the trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy. Show­case and spread re­tail ed­u­ca­tion and knowl­edge for a more fo­cused growth. There should be a fo­cus on lay­ing a foun­da­tion for bud­ding star­tups. Th­ese are the ones who will be­come big or­gan­ised play­ers later. The fab­rics and gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers in East In­dia are huge, I would love to see more brand spring up from here and be­come na­tional play­ers. Boost and en­cour­age new trends in tech­nol­ogy and re­tail for­mats like su­per mar­kets and e-com­merce. Help de­velop in­fras­truc­ture for smooth growth of the sup­ply chain and dis­tri­bu­tion, which is a big chal­lenge in the in­dus­try for East-in­dia.

Are you sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in East In­dia un­til now? How do you see its progress over the last ten years?

Yes, we are sat­is­fied with the way the or­ga­nized re­tail in­dus­try has grown in the East. De­vel­op­ment of New Malls like Quest Mall, Avani Mall, City Cen­tre 2, Acrop­o­lis etc; has given op­por­tu­nity for new or­ga­nized re­tail­ers to grow. Sev­eral High Street re­tail­ers have grown with the de­vel­op­ment of in­fras­truc­ture. Prime ex­am­ple is the VIP road where with the de­vel­op­ment of roads and in­fras­truc­ture has led to the growth of re­tails in­dus­try at a fast pace.

How ac­cord­ing to you will the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try evolve in the next 10 years?

Evo­lu­tion of mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try will de­pend on the eco­nomic growth; the growth en­tirely de­pends on the growth in GDP. Nor­mal GDP growth in the next 10 years will re­sult in the same growth of mod­ern re­tail as in the past 10 years. Growth in GDP in next 10 years will bring about a growth in the re­tails in­dus­try at the same rate.

What do you think are the big­gest prob­lems and chal­lenges fac­ing the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try in East­ern In­dia? What bot­tle­necks have to be over­come to al­low the in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial?

Eco­nomic growth and bet­ter in­fras­truc­ture are the big­gest chal­lenges faced by the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try. Eco­nomic growth will re­sult in peo­ple hav­ing more money to buy, re­tail spend­ing in­creases. Bet­ter in­fras­truc­ture, de­vel­op­ment of roads and eco­nomic growth are re­quired to al­low in­dus­try to grow to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial.

In which ar­eas do you think the mod­ern re­tail in­dus­try is lag­ging be­hind in the East? Where do you think in­dus­try has fallen short in the re­gion?

Mod­ern re­tail is not lag­ging be­hind as such in the East, rapidly im­prov­ing in­fras­truc­ture will cre­ate more ar­eas, more re­tails. The rentals will come down.

What do you think should be done by the in­dus­try and the govern­ment to boost the growth of the mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in East In­dia?

The Govt. has to play a big­ger role in the de­vel­op­ment of the in­fras­truc­ture to boost the growth of mod­ern re­tail sec­tor in the East.

1. Howrah Truss Bridge, Kolkata 2. Vidyasagar Bridge on River Hooghly 3. Bud­hha Park at Ra­vangla, South Sikkim 4. Na­landa Univer­sity Ruins, first Bud­dhism Univer­sity, Bi­har 5. Lin­garaja Hindu Tem­ple Com­plex, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

SHITANSHU JHUNJHUNWALLA, DI­REC­TOR, TUR­TLE

SID­DHARTH PANSARI, DI­REC­TOR, PRI­MARC

GAU­TAM JATIA, CEO, EMAMI FRANK ROSS LTD.

PULKIT BAID, DI­REC­TOR, GREAT EAST­ERN

SARAT BINANI, DI­REC­TOR, HI­MALAYA OP­TI­CAL

SA­GAR J DARYANI, FOUNDER, WOW MOMO FOOD LTD.

MAYANK AGAR­WAL, DI­REC­TOR , SI­MAAYA AND SASYA

SAN­DEEP JALAN, CEO , SOHUM SHOPPE PVT. LTD.

ARUN BIYANI, DI­REC­TOR, MOBEL IN­DIA PVT LTD.

MAN­ISH RAJPURIA, MD, MAN­ISH FASHIONWORLD PVT. LTD.

KAM­LESH AGAR­WAL, MD, SKIP­PER FUR­NISH­INGS

B K GUPTA, CMD, GKB LENS PVT LTD

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