Ko­dan­darama Setty

Chair­man and MD Vivek Ltd

VM&RD - - WHAT'S IN STORE? INDIAN RETAILER -

In Ret­ro­spect: 2012

The year 2012 has wit­nessed a rather sub­dued mar­ket. In par­tic­u­lar, the se­vere power out­ages in up­coun­try towns of Tamil Nadu have led to se­vere drop in pur­chases of ap­pli­ances. With sub­dued de­mand, com­pe­ti­tion has also be­come more in­tense. The cu­mu­la­tive im­pact of all th­ese fac­tors has been se­vere, pos­ing a great chal­lenge to Viveks as much as to all other re­tail­ers in the con­sumer durables seg­ment. One of the key ini­tia­tives taken dur­ing 2012 has been to iden­tify IT and Tele­com seg­ment as a ma­jor fo­cus area con­sid­er­ing the fact that IT and Tele­com mar­ket is more than twice the size of the con­sumer durables mar­ket. While th­ese prod­ucts were in­tro­duced in many of the out­lets, we also de­cided to cre­ate a new for­mat ex­clu­sively for IT and Tele­com prod­ucts. Chris­tened Viveks Dig­i­tal 1, the first out­let in this for­mat was opened in Ban­ga­lore dur­ing mid 2012 where com­put­ers, lap­tops, mo­bile phones, cam­eras and ac­ces­sories are dis­played and sold.

Ar­rival of FDI

The de­ci­sion on FDI in multi-brand re­tail has come af­ter a long de­lay and is in­deed a wel­come move. This will ben­e­fit ev­ery stake­holder, with the con­sumer be­ing the great­est ben­e­fi­ciary. It would help elim­i­nate waste and im­prove ef­fi­ciency par­tic­u­larly in the sup­ply chain man­age­ment of farm pro­duce with es­tab­lish­ment of more cold stor­ages. This will in turn en­sure re­mu­ner­a­tive prices for the farmer while of­fer­ing af­ford­able prices to the con­sumers. The government will also ben­e­fit from greater rev­enues through bet­ter tax com­pli­ance.

Look­ing Ahead: 2013

Emer­gence of global play­ers will keep domestic play­ers like us on our toes and we will need to con­stantly im­prove op­er­at­ing ef­fi­cien­cies and also take ini­tia­tives to bring in the best op­er­at­ing prac­tices into our op­er­a­tions. We will need to con­stantly ad­dress chang­ing cus­tomer needs and ex­pec­ta­tions and keep pace with the times to en­sure that we at­tract and re­tain cus­tomers. In­no­va­tion will play a key role in dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing our­selves from com­pe­ti­tion and pro­vide an im­por­tant com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage to sus­tain and grow in the mar­ket place.

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