Mr. Govind Shrikhande is a management graduate from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune. Mr. Shrikhande has been with Shopper’s Stop for more than ten years and has played a key role in its growth from 7 stores in 2000 to 59 stores (including Home Stop) in the year 2011. Mr. Shrikhande’s strong performance as head of Shoppers Stop, his passion for developing innovative products and services, and his emphasis on creating an enjoyable workplace for employees was recognized in 2009 with the prestigious Clothing Manufacturers of India “Retail Professional of The Year” Award and the “Most Admired Fashion Retail Professional of the Year Award” at the IFA 2010. Before joining Shoppers Stop, Mr. Shrikhande spent more than 15 years working in leading textile and apparel companies, such as Mafatlal, Arvind, Arrow and Bombay Dyeing,
He started the discussion by taking the time for a personal introduction of all 120 of us. He opened with an overview of the Indian retail industry over the last 50 years. With the change in the industry, he noted that there has been a significant change in consumer segmentation as well. Indian customers can now be segregated into 3 distinct categories.
- The partition generation (aged 45 and above) - They are characterized by their caution, a desire for performance and a high regard to functionality.
- The transition generation (25-45) - They believe in credit-debit living, letting go and reconciling the dilemma of change.
- The no string generation (15-24) - They have unchecked optimism and thrive on discontinuity. For them bad is the new good.
The change in consumers has prompted a change in the very shape of the Indian market from pyramidal to pot-bellied. Instead of the usual basic, mid level and premium products, there are now new entry level, mainstream premium and new premium products. One of the major factors affecting this change has been the rise of the Indian woman whose spending power has dramatically increased. Other growth drivers have been social media, reality shows, page 3 culture and youtube.
He emphasized that a good retailer must understand that shopping is not just a routine activity but a way of de-stressing and catching up. A customer connects with a retailer at 2 levels. One is the transactional level which is influenced by his perceptions of price, quality, service and consistency. The other is at an emotional level where factors like trust, prior experience and values come into play.
He then moved on to an overview of the Indian retail market and its forecasted growth. By 2016, it is purported to be at 675 billion dollars but only 12.4 % of it would be organized retail. Interestingly, food and groceries form a major chunk of the whole pie at 69% but in organized retail, apparel and lifestyle is the biggest part at 40%. He attributed this to the Indian dislike of consuming packaged food on a regular basis. As we like our food freshly cooked, food and groceries have yet to catch on in organized retail.
He concluded with a brief journey through the history of Shopper’s Stop over the last 20 years. The retail giant started with humble beginnings at the site of the Amber Oscar theatre in Andheri which was converted into a 5000 sq ft store. Following a logo change, an IPO in 2005 and an image overhaul, it now boasts of 97 stores in
. Their branding has changed
from premium to bridge-to-luxury and this is reflected in their addition of
international brands and brand campaigns. He also shared with us the Shopper
Stop anthem which is played everyday before stores open. India
The floor was then opened to questions which prompted insightful answers from Mr. Govind Shrikhande on the economic and social impacts of FDI in retail.