Sunday, September 27, 2009

RAI Demands Clear-cut Retail Policy

The retail sector in India is seeing lots of opportunities but until and unless proper facilities with proper laws won't be there the opportunities cannot be availed fully. With a view to develop facilities and propagate proper practices for the sustained growth of retail sector in India, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) was formed. The Chief Executive Officer of RAI Kumar Rajagopalan in an interaction with the media has the following things to express:-

The retail sector is in constant touch with the Government for industry status and a retail policy but the government is yet to act upon on this demand of the industry...

The demand of recognising retail as an industry has been put before government for some time now. Retail sector give employment to a huge no people more than 25 million and can be very useful in boosting consumption and in driving the growth in the economy. The results of encouraging retail in areas such as banking insurance and telecom are in front of the Government. In order to work with all stakeholders with a view to create the right environment for the development of retail in India RAI was formed. RAI is not only consists major retail players of the country but also consists of a huge number of small retailers as its members. RAI works to put into practices modern retail processes in the country.

What are the main challenges and opportunities the Indian retail sector today?

For retail business a great encouragement is the coming back of consumer confidence to a healthy level. But to raise internal consumption potential in India, the support of the Government by changing laws and creating infrastructure is very essential for the retail sector. In order to encourage the modern retailing grow a clear-cut retail policy is the cry of the hour. For guidance and supervision of the implementation of the retail policy a powerful committee with representatives from the retail industry should be formed.

How much the economic recession has influenced the Indian retail sector? Are there any signs of improvement?

Definitely the economic recession has influnced us and discouraged our customer sentiments. But now there is more optimism. The levels of consumption in India were anyway on the lower side and taking our demographic profile into account, consumption level is sure to increase. There even a few retailers who have started getting double-digit growth on a month-on-month basis. This has helped these retailers return to their store expansion programme without increasing their capacity at the backend.

Indian retail sector is yet to be fully-open to FDI's. What does RAI thinks about It.?

Investment is the most important thing for retail. FDIs give source of funds which are more competitive. FDI is quite helpful at some instances as it provides the retailers the much needed technical know-how. Partnerships can be very useful in transferring supply chain efficiencies and in getting efficiencies for retailers. India has already tasted the results of FDI in consumer-facing industries such as banking, telecom and insurance.

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