A 'Fresh' Focus On Food Retail
Food & Hospitality World|February 16, 2017

A momentous development at FHW Mumbai 2017 was the very first FHW CEO Speak with the Retailers Association of India (RAI), which saw the heads of leading food retail groups put forth their views on the challenges and opportunities in the industry.

Sudipta Dev

A key highlight of Day 1 at FHW Mumbai 2017 was the FHW CEO Speak panel discussion with Retailers Association of India (RAI) on 'Food retail in India: Opportunities, challenges and trends'. FHW's very first engagement with RAI turned out to be an insightful discussion which focused on many pertinent issues in the retail sector. Moderated by Anil Talreja, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, the panel members included Anuj Goyal, director, Brijwasi Sweets India; Sadashiv Nayak, CEO, Big Bazaar; K Radhakrishnan, co-founder, Grocermax; and Ramesh Menon, CEO, HyperCITY Retail (India).

Food retail industry in India comprises both online and physical stores (Big Bazaar, HyperCITY, mom-and-pop shops). It is a largely fragmented industry in the country, which also happens to be one of its primary challenges. According to Radhakrishnan, the problem remains aggregation of demand. Pointing out that there are challenges of offline retail also, like the MRP, he stated, “There is lack of growth in offline, I feel that online retail compliments offline.”

Many challenges

With 90 per cent of retail in India being through mom-and-pop shops, individually it is not a competition for the big brands but an aggregator is a competition. Nayak averred that to stay differentiated, modern trade allows limited experiments, grooming a new thing, making it acceptable to people which later percolates down to the mom-and-pop shops. “Modern trade makes sure that younger and affluent consumers get branded products that they desire. Mom-and-pop shops and modern trade do not compete.”

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