Interview with Govind Shrikhande

Face2Face
Govind Shrikhande
Govind Shrikhande
Managing Director
Shoppers Stop Ltd.
Shoppers Stop Ltd.

Sustainability must be thought about by every individual as well as organizations. Reducing consumption of depleting resources...

Govind Shrikhande, Managing Director of Shoppers Stop Ltd., shares some facts about the Indian apparel retail market in an interview with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi. Synopsis: Shoppers Stop Ltd. is an Indian department store chain promoted by the K Raheja Corp Group. It was founded in 1991 and its annual revenue is more than 300 million USD. It has about 61 stores across India and employs about 14000 people. It retails a wide range of branded apparels. The Nuance Group - one of the leading airport retailers in the world and Shoppers Stop Ltd. have formed a Joint Venture called Nuance Group India Pvt. Ltd. (NGIPL), which operates the Duty Free stores at Bangalore International Airport. Mr.Govind Shrikhande is the Customer Care Associate & Managing Director of Shoppers Stop Limited. He has been in the company for more than 13 years. He started his association with the company as the Vice President of Buying & Merchandising function and has since grown within the company managing roles of the Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Shoppers Stop Ltd, he has been associated with Mafatlal and Johnson & Johnson in the past. He was part of the team that launched Arvind Denim & Arrow. Excerpts:

Nearly 15% of Shoppers Stop (SS) net worth is invested in IT. Can you tell us how this investment has helped your business? Please enlighten us about what technological transformations have taken place at SS over the last few years?

To manage large retail chains, technology is an enabler & a “Must Have”- hygiene requirement. We deal with multiple seasons, categories, sizes, consumer profiles, different cities & regions & different levels of supplier partners etc. To manage the large scale of transactions, variables & quality – one requires to invest in an end to end ERP system which can support all activities from back-end to front-end and analytics. As a first mover in the area of tech investments, we have been able to be ahead of the market in every area of customer touch points. And our scaling up from 28 Stores to 65 Stores in the last 4 years has gone off well.

Indian market and Indian population is very diverse, so do you think that the demand is also very diverse and differs from region to region? According to you, what is the Indian apparel consumption trend at present?

Apparel consumption is a mirror of the society that we live in. As the demographics of India have turned younger & the per capita income is growing – aspirations of Indians have also seen a huge change. From a country that took more than 50 years for fixed line telephones to reach 100 million- we today boast a base of more than 900 million mobile connections that have developed only over last 10 Years. As marriages are becoming a 2 to 3 days affair- the need for specific clothing for specific occasions increased. Also the rise of mall & party culture has helped consumption. The rise in number of working women has driven ladies western wear category dramatically. So overall apparel consumption has a bright future. There are a number of regional differences that exist in India- whether it is sarees in the south or SKD in smaller towns etc. We always keep the customer in mind & fine tune our assortment in terms of categories, brands & price points.

Huge retail stores face a lot of problem of theft, loss of goods etc. Do you think this is a global problem or just limited to few regions? What is the solution to this problem?

Technology & processes are the right way to handle shrinkage. This is a global problem, but we have been able to successfully keep shrinkage below 0.5 % for the last several years through adoption of many best practices.

The cost of Indian Rupee has been very much fluctuating over the past few months. Over the time the inflation has also increased in the country. Has this affected the Indian retail sector?

Forex changes & inflation do have a very long term impact on all markets. Retail is no exception. As dollar strengthens import costs go up, resulting in higher retail prices. Higher prices lead to inflation, which in turn impacts demand & volume growth drops. So this is a vicious cycle that keeps on posing challenges for all industries, including retail.

What is the role of sustainability in the company’s business and how it ensures to build a sustainable and ethical supply chain?

Sustainability must be thought about by every individual as well as organizations. Reducing consumption of depleting resources like water, power are the two key agendas on which we have worked over the last 4 years.. optimizing all processes and costs also help us on the path to sustainability.
Published on: 16/01/2014

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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