Bijou Kurien, CEO of Reliance Lifestyle, outlined the challenges facing retailers entering the market. He observed that there is a tendency to treat a country with more than 1 billion people as a homogenous entity, when in fact it is composed of many vastly different parts. "There is no one view of India and it cannot be approached from one brand strategy,” he said.
Nagesh agreed, saying that retailers always look at Europe as a collection of different states, but “when you come to India, you see them start with a store in Delhi and then a store in Mumbai and go on from there. When you look at India as one country, most of us end up making a mess,” he said.
As businesses throughout the globe continue to battle the toughest economic conditions in recent memory, it has become increasingly clear that, as the current business challenges are the direct consequence of a new integrated global economy, so too are the solutions. Retailers can no longer afford to operate or think in isolation, and will collectively debate at the World Retail Congress the strategies to see them safely through the consumer spending famine and position their businesses for long term stability and growth.
The World Retail Congress has welcomed more than 2,000 retail leaders since its launch in 2007. The programme has been set in extensive consultation with the industry and the Congress Advisory Board, which includes some of the era's most inspirational retailers, ranging from O Boticario to Myer, Mango, Harvey Nichols, Tesco, and Gap.
Image: India (ES)