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Why are Indian retailers not afraid of foreign brands?

28
Jul '12
Mr Nischal Puri
A lot of water has flown down the Ganges since the advent of organised retailing in India. The period has also witnessed, an increase in the number of foreign retailers setting up shop in India, with many more waiting on the sidelines.

In normal circumstances every business in which so ever sector is afraid of competition particularly from foreign brands, reminiscent of the so-called Bombay club in the early 1990’s. But in India, retailers always welcome competition from the likes of Wal-Mart, IKEA, etc.

“We need to encapsulate the force that drives the Indian psyche”, explains Mr Nischal Puri – a retail executive turned entrepreneur and now CEO of Brandis India, which provides consultancy to new innerwear and garment brands.

Mr Puri says, “India over the past many centuries has witnessed numerous invasions, be it from Turks, Afghans or the British. All these invasions have built a tremendous amount of resilience within Indians.

“When we realised that, we as a nation are so attractive, that we will not be able to avoid invasions, we adopted ourselves, wherein we compelled the external influences to get Indianised. 

“Deriving from the same logic, I guess Indian apparel retailers too are extremely resilient. They are fully aware that the entry of international players will help expand the market and will in turn upgrade their stores to meet the direct competiton.

“If we track the retail environment 4-6 years back, when the malls had started sprawling up in Indian cities, it was assumed that the unorganised retail will die. Instead, these retailers responded by changing their value offerings to the consumers.

“They upgraded their stores and made themselves fit to compete with organised retail. Today both the segments of retail are thriving”, he concluded by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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