Pandemic has given a Big Push to Digitalization in the Retail Industry


The goal set by our Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji for making India Atmanirbhar i.e. Self-Reliant is getting empowered with the coming of Digital Trade and E-Commerce, bringing an optimistic change in the retail industry, deliberated Mr. Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in the session organized on 'Re-evaluating & Transforming the Retail Supply Chain Model' in the Virtual Retail Supply Chain Expo.

Mr. Sanjay Chadha, mentioned that during lockdown, services like digital banking and electronic payments have made the lives of people easier and simpler.

The adoption of the new technology in retail sector ensured inextricably linked supply chains which ensured that critical supplies reached the citizens even during the lock down period, said Mr Chadha.

Talking about supply chains, he mentioned that for the re-location of supply chains, companies have to be more resilient towards it.

Even with the coming of digitalization, there is always a need for physical movements of good to ensure supply and demand. Therefore, still a lot that has to be though about introduction of efficient manufacturing processes, added Mr Chadha.

He said that the process of warehousing is critical to have a safe inventory in hand at all times, as this pandemic has taught us to be ready for disruption, said Mr Chadha.

Dr. Rakesh Sinha, Founder & CEO, Refelix talked about the need to work towards an agile and demand-driven supply chain post-COVID-19. Retailers have the benefit of Point of Sale data which can help them work on replenishment.

Mr. Ramchandran Swaminathan, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Aditya Birla Fashion Retail raised concerns over the current sale scenario and said that Apparel retail is one of the most impacted during COVID-19 as people had minimized their stepping out of home for buying clothes, as health and safety has been the top priority for the people.

Talking about the current times, he mentioned that Digitalization is going to crash the whole apparel industry where physical work was done earlier. There is a need to focus on producing what consumers' want and increase productivity and outcome. Post COVID-19, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will dramatically change the working of demand and supply leading to the next shift in the retail industry.

Lt Colonel Vijay Nair, SCM Professional highlighted that this is one of the most productive times for the industry as technology is moving in a fast manner. There is a need to work on a Demand-driven supply chain. While Fragmentation has caused some disruption in this sector, it is one of the most productive times for the industry as technology has moved the fastest.

Mr. Raghavan Santhanam, Sr Consultant, Stratadigm mentioned that this decade has witnessed a change in consumer preferences and brought about a change in the gap between urban and rural consumers. He stated that India is probably one country where the government has provided the much needed impetus in digital banking space, like UPI payment platforms, among others

Mr. Girija Shanker, Chief Sales & Solution Officer, TVS Supply Chain Solutions deliberated that there is a very secular set of shifts happening in the industry where need vs. want is getting differentiated. While talking about e-commerce and online platforms that have come into play for the last four months, he said that people are willing to look at the industry with better understanding and a change in the needs should to be addressed for smoother working of the retail industry.

The Expo is supported by GeM (Government e-Marketplace) and NITI Aayog with Digital Partner: Digital Mall of Asia; ERP Partner: Accely; Furniture Solution Partner: AFC Furniture Solution; Supply Chain Partner: Safexpress; Warehousing Partner: Pragati Warehousing; Knowledge Partner: ISCM (Institute of Supply Chain Management). Associate Partners such as Addverb Technologies; Build My Infra; iSecureCyber; Kelley India; Marble City; Pallet Per Day; Pollywood; TVS Supply Chain Solutions and Media Partner BELDARA, Cargotalk, Food& Drink Innovation, Travel Unleash also supported the Expo.


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