It’s been 25 glorious years since the advent of organised retail in India. 25 joyous, tumultuous, passion driven years. We have lamented local corner stores merging into gigantic department stores and malls. Foreign brands that were once a distant dream beckon us with fl ashy offers. Old traditional retailers, with legacies that date back to pre-independence days, still hold strong and in some cases, pioneer modern change. To get a fi rst hand perspective on the history of Indian retail, we asked the industry stalwarts to share their experiences – what they would have done differently in hindsight, what led them to foray into the domains that they did, and some ‘what if questions’ the answers to which may have changed the course of some brands in the country. In the cover story of this issue ‘The Indian Retail Journey: 25 Years of Guts and Glory’, we are presenting their points of view on the 25-year retail journey with their perspective of Indian Retail in the year 2020.
Earlier this year, India overtook China as the fastest growing major economy, expanding by 7.3 percent and cementing its position as one of the sole bright spots in a troubled global economy. IMF is projecting GDP growth of 7.5 per cent over the next two years for us. Therefore, as the Chief Convenor of India Retail Forum 2016, it gives me immense pleasure to share with you the theme for this year’s India Retail Forum (IRF), which aptly asserts the latent power of the Indian consumption and retail story: ‘NAVIGATING THE FASTEST GROWING MAJOR MARKET OF THE WORLD.’
As you all know, IRF has been the signature event of the retail sector in India, ever since its inception in 2003. Now in its 13th edition, this annual event will bring together delegates from all nooks and corners of India and the world, 175+ distinguished speakers from around the world, 100+ exhibitors of next-generation innovations for the retail sector, and innumerable opportunities to tap into this high potential market. Hope to meet you all at the India Retail Forum.