The retail industry must take the lead in inventing new technologies to meet the rising aspirations of the Indian consumer, Mr. KV Thomas, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, has said.
Inaugurating Massmerize 2013, organized by FICCI with the support of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India, the Minister stated that in the digital era there was an urgent need for Indian industry to adapt and harness the power of new technologies and reap the advantage of cheap labour, and intelligent workforce and a market of over a billion Indian people.
The theme for this year’s Massmerize conference was ‘Consumerism in digital era’, which highlighted the transitions observed in the industry with advent of technology and new innovations.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Thomas said, “We live in a global village. It is a vast canvass out there for you to explore. Therefore, I want Indian industry to think more, to aim high and to reach for the stars. The world must look to us for emerging and newer brands that the world can bank on.”
However, expressing a concern, he said, “I would expect Indian industry to live up to the expectations of the people who look up to them for goods and services at a price that they can afford. The consumer behavior is experiencing consumer technologies.”
While speaking on ‘Consumer is the king – How to serve them better!’ Mr. Pankaj Agrawala, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, said the Ministry was in the process of setting up an inter-ministerial committee to look into unfair trade practices and formulate a framework to curb the menace.
Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, President of FICCI, said, “Increasing incomes, growing urbanisation, digitalisation and exposure to global trends are giving rise to an evolved consumer base and meeting consumer aspirations is now the key focus of the Industry.”
“India is slowly picking up in the trend of becoming digitally active in the ways of communications to consumers, on account of increasingly growing internet penetration in both urban and rural areas,” she added.
She said digitally active consumers have embraced the Internet, telecom, media, and social space, changing the way they communicate, transact, and make purchase decisions, thus giving rise to digital consumerism, and retail companies are capitalising on these changing trends.