Indian Retail Industry
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Indian Retail: An Overview
As organised retailers carve out a bigger piece of the retail pie for themselves itвЂ™s an exciting time for the retail sector. By Dominic K
Emerging markets such as India and China are the final frontier for retail taking the focus away from saturated Western markets. Since 2001, 49 global retailers entered 90 new markets, but at the same time, 17 retailers left markets in 2005.
The Indian retail industry in valued at about $300 billion and is expected to grow to $427 billion in 2010 and $637 billion in 2015. Only three percent of Indian retail is organised. Retailers of multiple brands can operate through a franchise or a cash-and-carry wholesale model.
Retail is IndiaвЂ™s largest industry, accounting for over 10 percent of the countryвЂ™s GDP and around eight percent of employment. Retail in India is at the crossroads. It has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries with several players entering the market. That said, the heavy initial investments required make break even hard to achieve and many players have not tasted success to date. However, the future is promising; the market is growing, government policies are becoming more favourable and emerging technologies are facilitating operations.
Retailing in India is gradually inching its way to becoming the next boom industry. The whole concept of shopping has altered in terms of format and consumer buying behavior, ushering in a revolution in shopping. Modern retail has entered India as seen in sprawling shopping centres, multi-storeyed malls and huge complexes offer shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof.
The Indian retailing sector is at an inflexion point where the growth of organised retail and growth in the consumption by Indians is going to adopt a higher growth trajectory. The Indian population is witnessing a significant change in its demographics. A large young working population with median age of 24 years, nuclear families in urban areas, along with increasing working-women population and emerging opportunities in the services sector are going to be the key growth drivers of the organised retail sector.
Initially, this was about Indian corporate houses rolling out malls and supermarkets, but with Wal-Mart coming into the Indian market, the era of the superstore is dawning. Unlike the kirana stores that served us for decades, this new breed of retail chains is heavily dependent on IT.
Wal-Mart, the worldвЂ™s largest retailer, and Bharti Enterprises have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore business opportunities in the Indian retail industry. This joint venture will mark the entry of Wal-Mart into the Indian retailing industry.
The biggest competitor for Bharti-Wal-Mart is likely to be Reliance Retail, the retail wing of Reliance, which had planned to establish 10,000 stores by 2010. It had already opened 11 pilot stores under the вЂњReliance FreshвЂќ format in Hyderabad.
All these trends and developments present a great business opportunity for software and hardware vendors from across the globe. Indian solution providers are targeting this segment have reason to rejoice. For while organised retail occupies a miniscule two to three percent of the overall Indian retailing