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'Cooperate not Compete' - Mr Kishore Biyani, Future Group
Dec '08
"Cooperate not Compete", said, Mr. Kishore Biyani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Retail & Founder & CEO, Future Group at the National Retail Summit organized by The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Mumbai. The Summit focused on "Collaborative Retail: The New Engine of Growth".

"We operate in a new world order, wherein collaboration with stakeholders is key to profitable business and growth hereon. Areas like marketing spends, real estate, recruitment and training, sourcing, back-end and advocacy offer tremendous scope for cooperation. Ideally, we should look at collaboration on common processes that provide no competitive advantage.

This alone would enable shaving off 5-8% of costs." Mr. Biyani further added that, if retail as a sector is to be given a boost, there has be a shift in the way it is viewed. "Retail needs to be seen as a necessity rather than a luxury; hence it needs to be given an industry status."

Infusing an optimistic tone to the summit, Mr. V Vaidyanathan, Executive Director & Member of the Board, ICICI Bank Ltd., said, "The extent of collaboration is much higher in the last 3 months as compared to the last one year." On the subject of economic slowdown and its implications, he stated, "In this period the question should not be how to face this economic slowdown rather it should be - are we prepared to take on the opportunities that will come across after this economic phase."

Speaking on the current economic conditions and the retail industry Ms. Ireena Vittal, Partner, McKinsey provided valuable insights into - Why Retail Industry matters to India, What will it take to ensure Indian retail industry succeed and What will ensure Indian retail industry's success.

A. Why Retail Industry matters to India:

1. Catalyst that converts consumer confidence into consumption; oxygen for Indian economic growth:
68% of GDP growth is from private consumption. Private consumption is the biggest hope for the Indian retail industry because Indian consumers have Big dreams, Jobs and Employment still stable and higher disposable income

2. Creates jobs, essential to channelise the youth energy:
India is a young country and the working population will keep growing, thus the need to create 20 million jobs each year (For every job in retail, 7-9 jobs in support infrastructure created)

3. Triggers for an efficient economy:
·Multiplier Effect
·Improves Productivity, reduces inflation
·Higher tax revenues

B. What will it take to ensure Indian retail industry succeeds:

Three critical enablers for retail success in India:
-Shared understanding of success amongst the various stakeholders in the retail industry
-Seamless collaboration across the entire value chain
-Build critical capabilities to ensure profitable growth and flexibility

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