Strategic Group Design Head Future Group India Ltd.
In Retrospect: 2012
The Indian consumer market is evolving fast. Consumption behavior is strongly influenced by cultural, social, personal, and psychological characteristics. The rapid rise of internet economy and the mobile communication segment in the last decade has played a huge role in giving exposure to international goods and services. Organizations need to be sensitive to this dynamic change and so have we. Being market leaders in modern retail and having a significant growth rate, it was time for us to introspect into the changing consumer needs. And we did just that.
Arrival of FDI
Competition is always a sign of overall positive growth. With FDI, I feel a lot more opportunities will grow. Aspects like consumer behavior, community characteristics, cognitive design solutions, user connect etc were almost alien concepts 10-15 years back, but today these are essential business feeders for strategic decision making. The opening up of markets would also open up our minds to new nuances in the consumer-scape. Evolution is also expected in the retail design space, which is no more just a beautiful space which an architect or interior designer plays with but an integral aspect of brand creation today.
Looking Ahead: 2013
Design and innovation would be the key differentiators and designers need to smell that opportunity. Products, prices and features of products in general might not be a big differentiator but add on the aspect of experience, one can create a completely new perception. Selling from behind the counter creates the feeling of “I know all about what my consumer wants”. With modern retail, this symbolic scenario is bound to change as standing next to the consumer in 'his' space would be the ideal way to understand his/her needs. So from 'I know all' we have to move to 'I would like to know' language and that’s where real insights start emerging, forming the basis of future innovation.