Captains of retail to converge in conclave in Feb

MUMBAI: It is coming at a time when the money system is well lubricated with easy liquidity and a renewed consumerism wave is fuelling retail trade like never before.

Captains of global and Indian retail businesses and industry leaders across sectors like retail, FMCG, food and grocery, textile and apparel, and healthcare are converging at the sixth KSA Retail Summit 2004 slated to be held at Hotel Ashoka in New Delhi from 11 to 13 February 2004.



Setting the tone for this year's retail conclave is the theme - 'Innovation led growth'. For the first time ever, the retail summit will also address micro marketing and the social impact of retailing and balancing customers as well as shareholders expectations in a retail environment.

KSA Technopak Chairman Arvind Singhal says in a press statement, "India is the fifth largest emerging retail market in the world and is growing at a scorching pace. The key to fueling and sustaining growth lies in innovation. The 6th KSA Retail Summit is a platform for marketers, retailers and supply chain managers to share ideas and learn from the best minds in retail to develop their own 'winning strategies' for growth. The Summit will, like every year, provide a definitive vision for the future of retail in India."

The keynote address titled 'Building to Last: A Retail Entrepreneur's Successful Journey' will be delivered by Hari Darmwan, Honorary Chairman of Matahari Corporation. Darmwan is internationally recognized, equally for being Indonesia's retail-store king as for being a rags-to-riches retail success story. The Matahari Group expanded by focusing on being a one-stop-shop for the new and affluent middle class of Indonesia. This experience will have interesting parallels for Indian retailers who are facing a rapidly evolving consumer as well as the transition from unorganized to organized retail, the statement says.

The highlights of this summit are the KSA Consumer Outlook 2004, and industry foci on mall development and management, and food retailing. The summit has been flexi-structured to include workshops, seminars and panel discussions that address both strategic and operational issues.

Day one (11 February) of the conclave will feature industry workshops that will address key facets of retail operations. These include 'Retail Identity Development as a Key Differentiator' by Harish Bhatt of Titan Industries, 'Merchandise Planning & Category Management as a Margin Enhancement Tool' by Shoppers' Stop director Govind Srikhande, 'Shopping Malls in the Indian context: Perspective for Mall Occupiers, Developers and Investors' by Shavak Srivastava, Dubai, among many others.

Over 12 and 13 February, leading Indian and international retailers will share their strategies and experiences with innovation led growth. Landmark Group, UAE CEO Micky Jagtiani will unveil 'The Changing Face of Retail Business' to take a closer look at the new rules of the game. Manor AG, Switzerland's Head of Fashion Peter Paritz will discuss strategies on 'Differentiating in a Rapidly Brand Commoditising World'. Kurt Salmon and Associates, Europe director Richard Traish will offer fresh insights into 'Innovations in Retail Formats & Service Offers'.

Mall of America VP John H Wheeler will elaborate on the unique strategies employed to make the Mall of America an outstanding entertainment venue and one of the most visited destinations in the United States. This mall is America's largest retail and entertainment complex, home to more than 520 world-class shops and a model for combining signature attractions with retail.

The Images Fashion Awards are also slated for Day two - 12 February. These awards recognize contributions to Indian retail and fashion.

Day three will have Indian retail pioneers share their experience and learning. The participants include Pantaloon Chief Knowledge Officer Kishore Biyani, Shoppers Stop CEO and MD BS Nagesh, RPG Retail CEO Raghu Pillai, among others. The itinerary includes a panel discussion focusing on the human resource challenge faced by the growing organized retail industry.

AsiaShop, the annual store design and retail support systems and accessories exposition will be held concurrently from 11 to 13 February. More than 1200 companies representing different components of retail supply chain including IT solutions, CRM, logistics, loss prevention solutions, visual merchandising, display and furniture, real estate, retail design and infrastructure are expected to participate.

KSA Technopak, the Indian subsidiary of the global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates is known for industry initiatives like the retail summit and annual consumer trend studies.

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