Progressive Grocer (India) - - Cover Story -

Re­tailer/ Brand Name: Rat­nadeep

Launch Year: 1987

Par­ent Com­pany: Rat­nadeep Su­per Mar­ket Pvt. Ltd.

Com­pany Head­quar­ters: Hy­der­abad

Key Peo­ple: San­deep Agar­wal (MD); Man­ish Bhar­tiya (Di­rec­tor)

Store For­mat: Con­ve­nient/ Fresh

Av­er­age Size of Store: 6,000 sq.ft.

To­tal Num­ber of Out­lets: 38

To­tal Re­tail Space (in sq. ft.): 2.25 lakh sq.ft.

Cities where op­er­a­tional: Hy­der­abad, Se­cun­der­abad

An­nual Turnover: INR 550 crore

Av­er­age Sales per sq.ft.: INR 2,500

Same Store Sales Growth: 9%

Av­er­age Foot­fall: 790 per day per store

Av­er­age Bill/ Ticket Size: INR 500

SKU Count in Store: 12,000 in F&G; 20,000 plus inclusive of GMS,

Num­ber of Em­ploy­ees: 2500

owned sup­ply chain man­age­ment, which is unique in the re­tail in­dus­try. The sup­ply chain sys­tem is en­abled with the daily in­ven­tory de­liv­ery ma­trix to the store lo­ca­tions.

What is the lo­ca­tion strat­egy for your stores?

Man­ish Bhar­tiya: Our stores are lo­cated on high streets and main streets keep­ing in mind our fo­cus on cus­tomer con­ve­nience. All our stores en­joy am­ple park­ing fa­cil­i­ties with has­sle-free cus­tomer pas­sage into the store.

What is the in­vest­ment needed for set­ting up a new store and how much time does it take for a store to break even?

San­deep Agar­wal: Gen­er­ally speak­ing, each of our store costs about Rs. 1.5 crore and above to set up. The break-even pe­riod ranges be­tween six and nine months or a year from the start of op­er­a­tions.

With your years of re­tail­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, what do you feel are its most es­sen­tial at­tributes for en­sur­ing sales and prof­itabil­ity?

San­deep Agar­wal: First and fore­most, you need to have a firm grip on the in­ven­tory con­trol and fo­cus on cost op­ti­miza­tion with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the stan­dards of ser­vice to the cus­tomer and your back-end op­er­a­tions. The prof­itabil­ity is gen­er­ally un­der pres­sure due to the

es­ca­lated sup­ply chain man­age­ment costs/ in­ven­tory car­ry­ing costs/ pil­fer­age and ren­tals/ man­power cost, etc…so these met­rics need to be worked on metic­u­lously and main­tained at all times. In the end, you need to give your best on all fronts with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the front-end so that cus­tomers go back with a pleas­ant shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

We com­ply with and fol­low all the statu­tory reg­u­la­tions/ com­pli­ances on all fronts, which is im­per­a­tive to driv­ing sus­tain­abil­ity in op­er­a­tions and main­tain­ing a con­ducive work en­vi­ron­ment at all lev­els. All of these fac­tors are nec­es­sary to ac­com­plish­ing busi­ness sur­vival, and drive sus­tain­able op­er­a­tions with rea­son­able prof­itabil­ity.

What have been your ma­jor learn­ings in this busi­ness?

San­deep Agar­wal: You get to learn some­thing new ev­ery day. Your learn­ing never stops so one should keep look­ing at ways to of­fer still higher lev­els of cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion through creative planogram­ming, cus­tomer-friendly nav­i­ga­tion, bet­ter ser­vice stan­dards, qual­ity of­fer­ings, and in ev­ery other way.

How would you de­scribe your achieve­ments so far?

San­deep Agar­wal: Rat­nadeep Su­per Mar­ket to­day op­er­ates 38 stores lo­cated in Hy­der­abad/ Se­cun­der­abad. The av­er­age daily bill per store is Rs. 790 + ap­prox­i­mately and our to­tal trad­ing area spans over 2,25,000 sq. ft. All our pro­cesses and sys­tems are au­tho­rized un­der ISO 9001-2008 & 220002005 stan­dards. We have been able to es­tab­lish best prac­tices in the or­ga­ni­za­tion and the work place sys­tem in ac­cor­dance with the best “5S” prac­tices. We have also been awarded with a cer­tifi­cate of achieve­ment by a global cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body. Our fi­nan­cial stand­ing is rated Crisil BBB+, which falls un­der “sta­ble” cat­e­gory. We have im­ple­mented CRM/ loy­alty pro­gram points in our stores with unique cus­tomer tele­phone/ mo­bile num­ber as iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Our CRM loy­alty pro­gram, known as “AGAIN” has a mil­lion plus cus­tomer base and its membership is sim­ple and has­sle-free. The pro­gram comes loaded with var­i­ous ben­e­fits like au­to­matic pur­chase points’ ac­cu­mu­la­tion, con­ve­nient re­demp­tion, an­nounce­ments of schemes and of­fers from time to time, and other ben­e­fits.

Rat­nadeep stores run on a strong soft­ware plat­form, which al­lows us to ef­fi­ciently man­age the in­ven­tory/ pric­ing/ billing/ CRM and other op­er­a­tions. Store-wise as­sort­ment with unique cus­tomer friendly planogram­ming and nav­i­ga­tion method­ol­ogy are in­te­gral fea­tures across all our stores. — Man­ish Bhar­tiya Di­rec­tor, Rat­nadeep Su­per Mar­ket Pvt. Ltd.

Tell us about your plans for the fu­ture?

San­deep Agar­wal: We have a chalked out plans for con­tin­u­ous ex­pan­sion of our stores, go­ing for­ward. We have plans for launch­ing, in dif­fer­ent phases, dif­fer­ent for­mat stores like food & gro­cery stores with a Food Court and part­ner­ing with in­ter­na­tional, na­tional, and premium lo­cal brands.

We are work­ing with a clear vi­sion to be a Na­tional re­tail chain and a Rs. 1,000 crore plus brand in food & gro­cery by 2020. It will make Rat­nadeep the only re­gional re­tail chain in In­dia to achieve this bench­mark in such a short span. By next fi­nan­cial year, we are look­ing to ex­pand our brand foot­print in other zones of the coun­try.

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