Revolutionizing Retail: Unveiling Cutting-edge Paradigms from RAI Retail India Summit & Expo 2023

Revolutionizing Retail: Unveiling Cutting-Edge Paradigms From RAI Retail India Summit & Expo 2023

The Retailers Association of India (RAI) organised the ‘Retail India Summit & Expo (RISE) 2023’ on 15 December 2023 in New Delhi. The summit saw an overwhelming participation of the retail fraternity and retail service providers like retail design, visual merchandising, shopfitting, real estate and technology. Evolving customer expectations were at the core of all discussions at the summit.

The Retail India Summit & Expo (RISE) has been bringing together retailers and retail service providers under one roof to facilitate dialogue and explore changing trends of the industry. It has been a platform to discuss new inspirations and innovation to win new customers, retain existing ones, and ultimately increase sales.

Setting the tone of the RISE 2023, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said “Consumer dynamics are rapidly evolving, placing renewed emphasis on the imperative of personalisation. It is incumbent upon retailers to ensure the welfare of both business interests and consumer needs. Omnichannel retail has seamlessly woven itself serving as a pervasive model for both consumers and enterprises. The burgeoning significance of social commerce further underscores this transformative landscape, wherein a growing cohort of consumers not only explores products through social media but also completes transactions directly on these platforms. Moreover, the advent of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands is exerting a profound influence on the retail landscape in India. These brands, bypassing traditional intermediaries, are reshaping the dynamics of the market. By leveraging digital channels and focusing on customer-centric approaches, D2C brands are challenging conventional retail paradigms and contributing significantly to the evolution of the retail sector in the Indian market.

Dr Bejoy John, IRS – Director, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, graced RISE 2023 as the Chief Guest. While delivering his special address, Dr John said, “We stand at a very critical juncture where a remarkable progress is happening in every phase of the human activity. India is a $5 trillion economy in the making by 2027. We are living the benefits of the democratic dividend, being the largest populated nation in the world and having the largest youngest population who are not only joining the workforce but are also redefining the consumption story that we are witnessing in this country.”

Highlights of the Summit included a special address by Lalit Agarwal, MD, V-Mart Retail Ltd.’ and by Vishakha Mittal, Director – Tech Solutions, Microsoft.

Speaking at RISE 2023, Lalit Agarwal, Managing Director, V-Mart, expressed, “RISE 2023 showcased the relentless spirit of innovation in the retail industry. As we move forward, it’s clear that the future of shopping in India is all about redefining customer experiences, embracing digital technologies, and venturing into new domains. At V-Mart, we are excited to be a part of this transformative journey, constantly striving to provide personalized experiences that resonate with our customers and leveraging technology to elevate the retail experience. In this dynamic landscape, we acknowledge Gen Z’s distinct behaviours and aspirations. Committed to staying ahead, V-Mart adapts to their unique preferences, ensuring our offerings align seamlessly with their expectations. Together, we shape the future of retail in India, embracing challenges and opportunities.

Speakers at RISE 2023 deliberated and deep dived into various aspects, namely Navigating the Future of Retail in India: Strategies and Innovations; From Text to Checkout: The Future of Shopping Conversations in India; Retail Brand Expansion: Venturing into New Domains; The Future of Shopping: Personalized Experiences & Digital Technologies; Mall Makeovers: Transformative Approaches and Brand Collaborations to Redevelop Retail Spaces; among others.

Retail leaders speaking at the summit included Ankur Bhatia, CEO, Chogori India Retail; Anupam Bansal, Director, Liberty Shoes; Deepak Aggarwal, Founder & MD, KAZO Fashion; Dhiraj Agarwal, CEO & Co-Founder, Campus Sutra; Gunjan Shah, CEO, Bata India Ltd; Jaytilak Majumdar, Chief Growth Officer, Patanjali Ayurved; among others.

Deliberating in a panel discussion, Gunjan Shah, CEO, Bata India Ltd., said, “Our focus is on four key aspects – digital transformation touching every aspect, an omnichannel approach, innovation and premiumisation-driven initiatives, and strategic expansion into untapped markets. Recognising the enormous opportunities in India’s vast market, our unique store experiences are paving the way for unprecedented success. Lastly, agility remains paramount in a dynamically evolving global and Indian landscape, where diverse communications and changing aspirations demand swift reactions. Navigating the fashion landscape requires tapping into trends early and responding promptly.”

Speaking about technology and omnichannel, Anupam Bansal, Director, Liberty Group, said, “It is important to slowly embrace to the learning and also not get carried away with too much technology because touch and feel is always very important. While you open channels, tools of online retailing are coming, but online and offline will go very hand in hand and not either or, it has to be combined.”

Speaking about customer delight, Rajesh Jain, CEO, Lacoste India, said, “As a company, we aspire for and we work towards customer delight to customer achievement. We are trying to go nearer to our customers physically as well like we recently expanded to Kochi. On the other hand, on online, we are adding a lot of tools for enhancing the customer delight there.”

Over the years, ‘Retail India Summit & Expo (RISE) has evolved to provide retailers with a platform to find the right business partners and solutions across categories to help take their business to the next level.


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