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Over the past several months, we have heard many a conjectures on the deep abyss that the Indian economy is falling into. Doomsday prophets have pointed out to the malls being bereft of footfalls, the empty shops, the rusty supply chains and financial lines tricking to a stop. Simile painters have even compared this period to the Great American Depression. And yes they have all also chosen to retain ambiguity with pointers to the fact that the situation is much more comfortable at the moment. So, why the grim faces at all we had been wondering? If there is a problem, it has to be faced. If there are challenges, they have to be tackled. If resources are few, they have to be found. If skills limited they have to be acquired. But, why the grim outlook? India is in a stage of re-invention. There is no question about it. And during such a stage, mistakes will be made and there will be certain oversights. But the idea is to learn from them and not dwell incessantly upon them and draw over reaching conclusions from them. We at Images have been acting as a catalyst for retailers in the country. We do this by creating platforms of sharing, learning and gaining from each others’ experiences and insights. And we just wrapped up the 10th Edition of The India Retail Forum (IRF) 2013, on September 25-26 in Mumbai. This issue carries a detailed feature on IRF 2013, which I am sure all will read thoroughly as it quite compactly summarises the status and key issues in Indian retail today. However, what it will not be able to convey in the fullest extent is the sheer passion, energy, positivity and deeply involved participation that one saw at IRF 2013. The sessions at IRF 2013 were high-voltage searching debates on all the important aspect of retail business, while the exhibition space and the networking lounge bubbled with opportunities, business deals and the strengthening of old relations. The retail boys partied as hard as ever. In fact we discovered that having some of our foremost retail talent with us in the retail sector has actually been a great loss to the performing arts industry. Niren Choudhary is actually a rockstar. The grand finale of the IRF, the annual IMAGES Retail Awards felicitated 25 key players for their power-packed performances during the last fiscal which would make most wonder once again what is this slowdown that was being talked about. Images Group recently also hosted the annual Images RetailME Awards that recognises top performing retailers and best retail practices in Middle East. The annual Middle East Retail Forum is a distinct knowledge platform that brings together the region’s retail visionaries to share best practices across the Middle East for all-round vertical growth. Last month was \"eventful\" for us at IMAGES Group and coming six months will be equally important for us. On this note, I along with my team wish all my dear friends of retail fraternity a very happy and prosperous period from Diwali to New Year and ahead.

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