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V-Mart CMD: Smaller towns fuelling retail growth engine

The young population in lower income groups is exposed to information, trends like never before and is looking for “value for money” products

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While addressing at the CII North Retail Conclave 2019 held today in New Delhi, Lalit Agarwal, Chairman & Managing Director, V-Mart stressed that there is an untapped opportunity in Tier 3, Tier 4 towns as young India has aspirations. The young population in lower income group brackets is exposed to information, trends like never before and is looking for “value for money” products. The population in Tier 3, 4 towns is waiting for some organised players to cater to their needs and it is where V-Mart came in and there is a scope for many more players. The key to retail sector growth is to identify your ecosystem and create value for money for the segment by being more efficient, by using technology.

“Retail sector is a big employment generator and hence all the more necessary that workforce is kept engaged, motivated and different paths are charted out for their personal growth. Given the low entry level wages, HR morale is one of the keys to success, Agarwal added.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, CII North Retail Conclave and Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants highlighted that the retail sector is now on upswing with more and more malls coming up and fewer malls having vacant spaces. Puri also mentioned how the new generation is less about owning things and more about renting them hence which has created new models and success of food delivery models or organised aggregators is testimony to the same. Business models are changing and successful players are altering their strategy and executing them well. The organised retail sector has moved to 19 percent which is a healthy sign and shows that entire sector is becoming more structured. The e-commerce story has showcased that there is space for all, right from haat to the biggest malls.
 
Role of technology will be the key in retaining customer and for retail sector growth, said Mukesh Mathur, Executive Vice President, Manthan Software Services. He highlighted even the mundane tasks like billing if not handled well has the potential in bringing bad name to the mall/store and thereby leading to loss of business. Data is the king in this age and data analytics can help understand customer preferences and behaviour patterns to the product layout and placement in store. Technology, if used properly, has the potential to make business agile, innovative and customer focused which are pillars of any successful business.
 
Setting the context and sharing industry insights, Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO, Anarock Retail, also stated that the growth in economy has boosted retail sector and closure of malls or empty malls or huge vacancy in mall space are a thing of past. The trend is firm and continuous that the spaces are being taken up fast with newer malls coming up at event faster pace. Tier II, III, IV towns have become the new growth engines and companies are focusing on the untapped potential. 

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