Collaborating to Win the Connected Consumer

Moderator: B S Nagesh, Founder – TRRAIN; Chairman-RAI



Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group

P.N. Vijay, Economic and Finance Advisor, Bharatiya Janata Party

Ramanathan Hariharan, Group Director & Board Member, Landmark Group

Vilas Vishnu Shinde, Owner, Sahyadri Agro Industries and Foods Pvt. Ltd.

Remain Young To Win the Connected Consumer

“Keep your eyes and years open. Remain young. Keep the entrepreneurial spirit of continual experimentation alive. The world is changing faster than ever and the new world is all about diversity, new techniques, new technology. Respect this fact, and create a wholesome ‘experiential journey’ for the consumer“, Kishore Biyani asserted, hitting the nail on the head as he shared his views on the key to getting the pulse of the consumer and excelling in creating a fruitful retail business structure.

The honorary PM of India is a stellar example of someone with a young mindset, being extremely well connected as he continues to bolster the digitization movement that has facilitated a direct connection between the public and the government. P N Vijay, the veteran economist referred to the Indian retail industry as the ‘Sleeping Kumbhakaran’, one who is unaware of his own might. According to him, the biggest problem for retail, from the perspective of connecting with the Government, is that the retail is not recognized is an industry – a cohesive force. There was a common consensus among experts on the need for both, the government as well as the industry itself, to recognize the dormant potential of the retail industry (which has been growing steadily at the an average annual rate of 24% per annum for the last decade) and work collaboratively by allowing retailers enhanced direct access to capital and consumers.

Sharing the agro industry’s recently increased participation within the retail space through initiatives like Sahyadri Agro Industries and Foods pvt ltd, Vilas Vishnu Shinde asserted that the government’s move to provide qualitative support in terms of better infrastructure and better facilities would greatly improve the business viability of the agro industry within the retail space. It would further improve the financial and occupational position of farmers within the country while encouraging heightened consumption pattern.

Ramanathan Hariharan pointed out that a key aspect of improving the Indian Retail Ecosystem is ‘Smart Collaboration’; where various retail arms and sources collaborate with each other by sharing business strengths in creating an improved system that qualitatively feeds the demand of the consumer. He also touched about the need to capture the aspirational value of consumers and factoring this aspect as a component of the retail ecosystem to promote enhanced consumption folds.

In unison with encouraging direct involvement of women in the mainstream retail process to improve the ecosystem of the retail business, the panel collectively recognized the impending need to improve gateways that facilitate a better retail ecosystem, and the need for the government to take assertive steps in working closely with the manufacturers, service providers and the retail industry at large, to form an indigenously assertive and advantageous economic structure that promotes affordable cost of business. This, according to BS Nagesh, would in turn facilitate affordable cost of consumption, and thereby would improve the country’s comprehensive consumption capacity.

The discussion culminated with a concise QnA which witnessed the panel addressing aspirational and start-up retailers, and asserting an optimism of an enhanced retail ecosystem that would facilitate a true qualitative connect between the 3 key spokes of the retail wheel – the government, the retailers, and the connected consumers.


By Elton Noronha

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Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.