May 09, 2009


The Great Indian Retail Story : Customer's perspective

The organized retail in India is dot com of 2008. Now that the big boys of Indian retail are in trouble people are trying to find reasons to justify their downfall - high real estate costs, poor logistics, expensive manpower, high leverage, etc. etc. But, here are my thoughts on how that went wrong and how it is still going wrong.
To sum, I have switched back to kirana store to save time and get more choice.


Nice one. I do have some reservations about these new organised retail shops or chains. I was in Hyderabad for 2004 to 2008 and there are 2 main chains - Trinethra which became More and Foodworld which become spenders and partly remain with same name. You will feel nice while shopping but sometimes feel as rip off or open day robbery. Sugar which costs ( at local kirana shops) 18-19 rs per kg will costs 24-28 rs per kg. things like rice or wheat flour will be available but not as what you require and will push for their own brands ( few rupee less but no where near the branded items like Annapurna or Pilsbury in terms of quality). But quality of stuff is good and you don't need to spend time in cleaning them once you buy it. Now these local kirana shops will offer you convenience and may charge same amount as what these posh retail shop charge or little less if you are their regular customer. What they don't pay is taxes or create more employment the way Reliance or More will be add ons of organised retails does. So do we shop with them just because they create employment or pay taxes ? Definitely not. We can always ask for cheaper goods, better service and and more bargains (like Subiksha which again gone in CDR). Some customers might just ignore high costs as they are earning more and some will look for alternatives. But seems these posh dukans are here to stay and stay for long terms.
Oh..Man...we have a sync there :)

The problem is that the professionals who are managing retain chains in India are not exposed to "retail". These are guys who were working for some FMCG company , joined RPG and since the Industry took off, they grew.

Why cant these jokers visit/stay abroad for a month to understand the simple dynamics of retailing?

I think they should stop hiring Indians and should hire some filipino crowd at half the cost to man the counters. They are so damn fast.

One more thing that i've noticed is that none of the super markets have state of the art bar code reading machines, good softwares or even near screens. They still use those retarded softwares and type product codes.

I think its time to hire some talent from abroad to take this forward.
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