Date: November 1, 2011
An accomplished HR professional with over 20 years of experience in entire gamut of HR & IR functions in Banking, large Corporate Houses & Retail Conglomerate encompassing Talent Acquisition, Talent Development, Employee Engagement, HR Operations & Industrial Relations etc with the ability and skill set to provide creative, innovative and forward-thinking leadership. Currently functioning as AVP & HR Head for South Zone of Reliance Retail Ltd, which constitutes a Senior Leadership Position in India’s largest Corporate House, Reliance Industries Ltd.
Mr. Mishra has been conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award by Governor of Orissa for Excellence in Corporate Management on 23rd August’2010
The lecture began with a brief introduction on the meaning of retail. Mr. Mishra then explained how the demographic pattern, consumer perception and choice of people influence the retail industry. India has topped the list of developing nations in organized retail with a growth of 3%. In his exquisite terminology, India is seen by the overseas retail giants as a “Potential gold mine” in organized retailing. According to him and also accepted worldwide, the success of the 427 billion US $ retail industry depends upon skilled manpower, good merchandising and good supply chain management. An efficient supply chain management is the backbone of retail.
The early setbacks in the organized Indian retail were due to the lack of skilled manpower and joint ventures or in his terms, “bonding and branding”. Therefore, manpower was gathered from the other service sectors like telecom. He further enlightened us with the fact that the real success story in organized retail in India started with food retail with the Food World being launched by the RPG group for the first time in South India. The focus in the initial stages has been the southern and the western belt of the country for the retailers. With Shoppers’ Stop ‘lifestyle retailing’ started in India. Then a revolution in the organized retailing came with the Hypermarkets. The basic reason for the malls and hypermarkets and all other forms of organized retail flourishing in India was the tilt of the urban India towards convenience shopping. To match that, the youth also have a high disposable income now. ‘Value retail’ or the ‘neighborhood retail’ is a big hit down south with 80 retail players which includes More, Spencer’s daily, Reliance fresh etc.
He sees the recession bringing about a “consolidation era” in the organized retail in India from the mid 2008 till the end of 2010. There were players who got submerged and some survived. Those who survived are on an expansion mode right now. During the recession, ‘luxury retail’ got a setback. After recession the ‘rural or agro retail’ has gone out of business due to the consolidation process which has narrowed the rural –urban divide. He vehemently stressed upon the fact that Indian customers can be lured through the 3 V’s, which are Value, Variety and Volume of the product. Value addition to the services kills the competitor’s market. He extensively talked on the various types of retail formats like discount stores, cash and carry supermarkets and hypermarkets by giving examples from each. His brief anecdotes were awe inspiring.
In the end he gave a brief description about the formats and journey of Reliance Retail. He mostly talked about the various retail segments of Reliance which included Reliance Digital, Reliance Trends and Reliance Lifestyle, Reliance Footprint, Diesel Fashion, Reliance Homes, Reliance AutoZone and Reliance Wellness. Reliance Digital has a target of having 96 outlets all over India. They are going to open i-stores in joint venture with Apple. They have joint venture with Vision Express, Office Depot, Hamleys and Marks and Spencer. To add to their laurels Reliance Trends has won the no.1 value Apparel Award for 2010. Reliance Market in Ahmadabad is the biggest ‘cash and carry’ format in India. He also announced that Reliance Retail is managed by Tesco and its current CEO is the ex – CEO Wal-Mart, China. The entire team at the helm has been brought in from Wal-Mart China in order to turn around the company. As of now Reliance is engaged in value retailing to an extent of 70 – 80%.
Mr. Mishra concluded the discussion with a small success mantra that – in order to make it big in retail, skilled manpower is a must.