Retailing has a brilliant future in India, thanks to the upswing in the GDP (gross domestic product). More and more Indians are enjoying increased spending power. Credit cards are in the country to stay; in fact it’s a status symbol to flash a wallet packed with plastic. Add to this spending power the political stability that the country has enjoyed for the last several years and the government’s readiness to open up the economy, and you can see that things can only get better. India’s retail scene has long been dominated by small mom and pop stores, but the tide toward larger chain retailers is beginning to turn.
India’s retail environment has for years been based on small, independent stores and markets. You need to understand the outlets I cover in this section if you’re interested in working your way into the retail sector in India.
It’s all about visibility. You can employ a marketing team that approaches these small outlets and gets them to agree to display your products. (Make sure there’s something in it for them, of course.) These days, it isn’t uncommon to find imported tubes of Pringles and stacks of Mars bars in a small corner that is also well stocked in chips made by the home-based-industry down the road. The same goes for local fairs. You can buy market space and get your sales team to study the market and work out an appropriate sales pitch.
India’s small corner and grocery shops play a prominent ...