Retail Sector Poised To Grow

Mumbai, Sept 28 | Updated: Sep 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Finally, the $200-billion organised retail sector in India has very less per capita retail space at present. But according to Pantaloon Retail managing director Kishore Biyani, the total retail space in the country is expected to cross 50 million square feet in another four years.

Speaking at the launch of Retailers Association of India (RAI) in Mumbai, Mr Biyani also said that RAI will discuss the issue of FDI in the sector in due course.

Speaking on the sidelines of the function, Srinivasan of Vivek Ltd said that the company plans to have 55 more stores in another three years.

Globus Stores CEO Vinay Nadkarni said that although many major players in the sector are dominant in the garments segment, several other segments like groceries and food also get adequate representation in the sector.

Talking about the private labels of organised retailers, Mr Nadkarni added that they have equal importance as the usual branded products. In case of Globus the share of each category is 50%. Even Westside and Pantaloon have a fair share of private labels in their stores.

Pantaloon Retail director-operations & COO, Ved Prakash Arya, said that there was no need to worry about foreign competition as there was room for everybody. Mr Arya found it early to comment on the cash and carry concept of some foreign retail chains.

All retailers, small and large, are welcome to join RAI with a one-time fee of Rs 50,000 and a yearly fee ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000, depending upon the turnover.

Mr Arya further said that 4-5 management institutes in Mumbai and Ahmedabad have shown interest in getting in to retail management.

The RAI Association has appointed Gibson G Vedamani as the first CEO of the association who in fact has over two decades of experience in the Indian retail industry.

Commenting on the RAI initiative, said Mr Vedamani: "RAI aims at being the voice of Indian retailers. RAI through its various efforts will aim at uplifting the standards of overall retailing in the country so as to offer the Indian customer a more enriching experience. It will be our endeavour to become a model association where retail companies will be joining hands and building a collective voice."