TiE Retail Summit 2008 initiates Retail sector towards a faster growth trajectory

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New Delhi, August 1 (ANI/Business Wire India): The TiE Retail Summit, 2008 saw a unanimous thought on combining the best from both the markets-domestic as well as the western markets, to create a sustainable growth for the retail industry in the country.

In India there are around 15 million retail outlets, which cater to the day-to-day needs of the customers.

They are convenient, affordable, provide add on services, which a customer does not find in a big retail shops. Big chains on the other hand enjoy large-scale efficiencies.

The one-day event saw several thought leaders from the retail market in India sharing their experiences and thoughts on the galore of opportunities the Indian retail sector has to offer.

Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak Advisors, talked about the future of large retail chains in India, their strength and weaknesses and what it meant for small and medium retailers in terms of opportunities. In his keynote session on "The India Story", William Bissell, Managing Director, FabIndia shared his experiences on the success of his venture built around an India centric philosophy. He said that, "The opportunities the retail sector has to offer are like never before and the entrepreneurs need to look at them with a fresh perspective."

Elaborating on the "The learnings from Indian and Western retail models", Viney Singh spoke about the distinctive features of the Indian and Western Retail Models.

He went on to emphasize the need to amalgamate the features to suit the consumer patterns in the Indian markets, the key learnings and the way forward to maintain a global perspective, while nurturing the diversity to maintain connection with the local markets.

Mark Ashman, CEO, Marks and Spencer India, shared the success story of Marks and Spencer and the knowledge that the Indian market had to offer to the western giant.

Commenting on the boom in the retail sector he said, "India has a huge retail margin. The Indian market is growing and has a room for everyone which in turn leads to greater employment and entrepreneurial opportunities."

TiE platform also showcased several relevant success stories in the retail sector. Ashutosh Garg, Chairman and Managing Director, Guardian Life Care highlighted the essential elements required for a start-up venture.

Taking analogy of Guardian Life Care, he explained the factors that come into play to gain a greater foothold within the local and national markets.

Milagrow, Knowledge Solutions Venture Catalyst firm, presented a white paper during the summit focusing on how small retailers can survive the competition from the bigger retail players from the organized sector.

The white paper throws light on the strengths and weaknesses of smaller players as compared to the big organized chains, the strategies adopted by smaller players and their road ahead.

Six workshops were conducted by entrepreneurs from leading companies for the start-up ventures.

The workshop on retail operations covered topics including key challenges faced while setting up retail operations, steps in implementing retail operations, challenges faced while scaling up of operations by retailers and Key areas to focus for improving operations efficiency.

Workshop on Retail Financing focused on options available for Retail Financing, Issues and Challenges, Best Practices and demystifying the process of getting funding for small to mid size retailers.

Issues like the key retail real estate trends and how they impact the retailers, the scenario of availability of timely quality space and the speed of development for malls, the kind of retail real estate (mall, high streets, residential) one should go for, were discussed in the workshop on Real Estate. Other workshops included topics like Logistics, Information Technology.

The Mentoring Clinic and Guru Session discussed the retention of trained manpower. This was followed by one- on one mentoring session with successful entrepreneurs and investors.

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