The past few years have seen increasing modernisation and expansion in food retailing. As a result, the share of organised food sector is set to grow rapidly. At the same time, retailers are having to deal with increasingly demanding customers, and intense competition from their online peers. Going forward, in keeping with this trend of modernisation and competition in the retail sector, I expect a surge of interest from retailers to put in place a more efficient logistic support system, which is crucial for ensuring timely supply of fresh produce, reducing wastage, and enabling better fill rates and inventory management at the retail end.
At a time when the industry is gearing up for exciting times ahead, Government’s recent push to liberalise the sector further by allowing 100 per cent FDI in retailing of food produced in the country has brought fresh cheer. In the event, Walmart India is already evaluating its options to come up with a “food-only” retail model. “We are currently evaluating all the policy guidelines and we do not have an ‘only food model’ anywhere. So, we need to conceptualise, evaluate and come up with a model, which takes time,” said Krish Iyer, Walmart India CEO, when speaking to media persons at the recently concluded India Retail Forum.
It won’t be a surprise if other global retailers too take an interest in adopting this model in India to prepare themselves for a full frontal multi-brand operations whenever that comes to happen, which may be sooner than later. In this season of festive cheer, I hope the upbeat and buoyant mood of the market will endure and last long enough for the industry to enable it to become a cheerleader for the economy as a whole.