With the ongoing global crisis covering up the countries like a wet blanket, what is the position of Retail industry in India?


Current meltdown is shaking the global markets today, hooking every single country. Rising inflation rates are covering the economies of countries like a wet blanket. India obviously is not an exemption to the financial crisis. The slowdown and the resulting disturbance in the economic status are affecting the retail industry adversely.


India is the fifth largest retail destination; globally. Despite recession, India is still maintaining itself as an attractive destination for retail industry and foreign investments. Change in the buyer behavior and shopping trends have lured international giants, who are at the wings seeking entry into the Indian market. Indian retail industry accounts for 10% of the country's GDP, and is expected by industry analysts to grow by $427 billion by 2010.


While speaking about the current scenario of Indian retail sector, in an exclusive interview with &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(1761)%>" target="_blank">Fibre2fashion, Mr. Spencer Sheen, Head of Retail, M&S India, says, "India has a growing, vibrant population, and is a huge opportunity amongst emerging retail markets. The Indian consumer is well informed today and recognizes good value. As a mid market retailer, we at M&S believe we will appeal to millions of Indian consumers who, like UK consumers, both want good quality, good value products."


Apparel Retailing:


India plays an integral role in the global apparel market due to availability of abundant man power, raw material, and infrastructural developments. Manufacturers and retailers entering into the industry are only using latest technologies and professional management procedures.


In an exclusive interview with &sec=article&uinfo=<%=server.URLEncode(1761)%>" target="_blank">Fibre2Fashion, Mr. M Prakash, Vice President, IIGM Pvt Ltd, views the slowdown from both the manufacturers and buyers view point. From the manufacturers purview he says "As regards to today's scenario of the apparel industry, I totally look into a different way. Out of my 17 years of my career in this industry, this is the second time we are seeing the recession (especially for the Garment exporters). The younger generation who passed out from the universities since 1998 have seen only the positives of the industry and economy. Therefore, I feel this correction was required at this point. (Unnecessary values rose in stock market, prices quoted in real estate industry was steep; garment operators and tailors demand in salaries were also looking north)."


Viewing the other side of the coin, Mr. Prakash also comments about the situation from the buyers view point. He says, "Any apparel buyers/ buying houses from all the over the world are also looking for the cuts in expenditure. Therefore the first step is to consolidate their operations in the region. For example, if a buying house had offices in Delhi, Bangalore, Dhaka, Colombo, Pakistan, Thailand, they are shutting down all the offices and consolidating with one office for the region. Whereas this is forcing them to minimize their manufacturers from various locations to one or two locations. Therefore, the Manufacturer who as the USP on a particular product will sure get the business but others will loose out. For example Bangladesh may get all the denim jeans business because they are very strong on basic jeans. India may get lot of formals and design wear."