Growth in Recession

Devangshu Dutta

January 16, 2009

I’ve just spent a few (grim) days at the National Retail Federation’s conference in New York – the NRF Annual Big Show. (After all that grimness, I hope you’ll pardon my play on words in the title!)

However, the key message from several conversations is that this is an ideal time for the better companies to use this opportunity to take tough decisions, and to create change that is hard to push when the business is doing well.

I think that is sound advice to not just get through these recessionary times, but also to pull far ahead of the competition.

India’s Retail Boom in the Export Spotlight


January 14, 2009


Wednesday 14 January 2009 11:42

The exciting developments in India’s dynamic, consumer-led retail sector and the export opportunities being created for British companies are the subjects of a conference to be staged by UK Trade & Investment’s London International Trade Team on 27 January.

Far from discouraging internationalisation, the economic downturn provides an incentive for UK firms to seek out and evaluate potential for export development, positioning themselves to take full advantage when growth returns.
The half-day conference will provide retailers and representatives of associated service industries – including logistics, infrastructure, and supply chain management – with an overview of the changing Indian market, focusing on its rapidly expanding consumer class. With India’s economy growing at a rate second only to China (GDP rose 9.1% in 2007/08), huge demand for goods, services and investment is being created.

The event marks the launch of a report, "The Retail Opportunity in India 2009", commissioned by UKTI London from retail consultancy Third Eyesight. The report examines key factors such as India’s growing middle class, the changing face of the retail sector, supply chain considerations, Indian tax law and FDI regulations, cultural nuances to be taken into account when doing business, and more.

Unlike many other markets, India’s population profile will remain young for a long time. The total under-25 population – about 560 million in 2005 – is expected to be around 600 million in 2025, a highly significant population of earning and spending potential customers. So, any company looking at addressing the Indian market must view it as a long-term opportunity, rather than a short-term fix.

Devangshu Dutta, CEO of Third Eyesight, and one of the speakers at the seminar, says: "The growth of the consumer market in India is not a blip, but a sustained (and sustainable) process, because the consumption base also comprises a large number of people whose incomes and needs are growing.

Other expert contributors will include:

  • Sameer Prasad, CEO of Planet Retail (India franchise partner for top brands Debenhams, Next, Monsoon, Accessorize, and Body Shop;
  • Laxmi Chaudhry of 1 Stop HR, a specialist adviser on cross-cultural management and business effectiveness;
  • Bradley Jones, Head of South Asia Unit, UKTI;
  • Professor Kul Pawar, Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham; and
  • Sabe Tibbitts, International Trade Adviser/India Specialist, UKTI London.

Laxmi Chaudry will speak about the impact of culture on business and how awareness of culturally sensitive issues can enhance your ability to do business effectively in the Indian market. Other contributions will include an economic and political overview of India; the recipe for effective partnerships between India companies and UK retailers; and a presentation on supply chain management.

Overall, the event is ideal for directors of major UK retailers currently exporting to India or planning to export there; and retail companies and logistics enterprises wanting to learn more about opportunities in the rapidly expanding Indian market.