February 28, 2019, Mumbai: The Retailers Association of India (RAI) congregates Indian retail industry stalwarts and global retail experts at the Retail Leadership Summit 2019 (RLS 2019), presented by Reliance Retail and powered by the Future Group, to have a stimulating exchange of ideas on shaping the future of retailing in India.
The tone of the summit was set by an opening speech by Kumar Rajagopalan – Chief Executive Officer, Retailers Association of India, who accentuated on the central theme of the summit ‘Customer Experience – Key to Mindshare and Marketshare’.
Retail Experts from India and abroad congregate at ‘RAI’s Retail Leadership Summit 2019’
Speaking about the theme of the RAI Retail Leadership Summit 2019 (RLS 2019), Mr. Kumar Rajagopalan – Chief Executive Officer, Retailers Association of India, said, “Globally experts have appraised that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Brands globally have started to embrace this by creating experiences that go beyond customer expectations. At the ‘RAI Retail Leadership Summit 2019’ we are assimilating experts from various factions and formats of retail to talk about what could create new brand salience and experiences that help increase mindshare and thus marketshare.”
The CEO further added, “Brands that build their offering solely on the basis of products run the risk of getting left behind as they will have nothing more to compete on other than price. If they don’t add experience to their mix, they also risk getting commoditized.”
The first day of the summit also included a thought-provoking special address by Ashwin Khasgiwala, CFO, Reliance Retail Limited & Director, Boards of Reliance Brands Limited, and a special address by Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange).
The highlight of the first day was a free-wheeling one-on-one conversation between Menaka Doshi – Managing Editor, BloombergQuint and Kishore Biyani – Group CEO, Future Group, that left the audience captivated. Prof. Dr. Michael Feindt – Founder, Blue Yonder GmbH, JDA, enlightened the audience on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can automate complex decisions across the entire value chain in retail business.
The second day of the summit kept the audience captivated with one-on-one interaction with Hari Menon – Co-founder & CEO BigBasket.com and special addresses by Pei Liang – CCFA (China Chain Stores and Franchise Associations), Veronique Morelle Lunven – Deputy Executive Director IGDS, David French – SVP, Government Relations and Executive Director, NCCR (NRF) among others.
The eclectic mix of retail professionals from all factions of the industry makes this summit the perfect platform for release of knowledge reports. While Boston Consulting Group released ‘Going for the Gold: By Creating Customers Who Create Customers’, Deloitte launched and ‘Unravelling the Indian Consumer’ respectively. Anarock Property Consultants too launched a report titled ‘Customer Experience (CX): The Epicenter of Retailing’.
Riveting panel discussions and round-table discussions throughout the day touched upon various aspects of the central theme. The discussions saw participation of retail leaders such as BS Nagesh, Chairman RAI & Founder TRRAIN; James Munson, MD, Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd.; Rajiv Suri, MD & CEO, Shoppers Stop Limited; Rakesh Biyani, Joint Managing Director, Future Retail Limited; Arjun Aggarwal, MD, Bhartiya City Developers Pvt. Ltd; Mohit Khattar, CEO, Baskin Robbins (Graviss Foods Pvt. Ltd.); Rajesh Jain, Managing Director & CEO, Lacoste India; Shibu Philips, Business Head, Lulu Mall; Lavanya Nalli, Vice Chairperson, Nalli Silks; Damodar Mall, CEO Grocery Retail, Reliance Retail Limited; K Venkataramani, MD, Health & Glow Pvt. Ltd.; Manish Mandhana, CEO, Being Human (Mandhana Retail Ventures Ltd.); Mohit Dhanjal, Director-Retail, Raymond Ltd.; and Sagar Daryani, Co-Founder & CEO, Wow! Momo Foods Pvt. Ltd.
Over the years, ‘Retail Leadership Summit’ has proven to be the premier platform for retail professionals to gain knowledge, network with peers, potential partners and industry leaders.
The crème de la crème of the retail industry gathered to recognise the India’s Retail Champions Award and the Retail Start-up Award, which lauds the best emerging retail companies. A panel of eminent personalities from the industry form the Jury, who thoroughly evaluate the entries shortlisted by a reputed audit agency to select the winners.