Retail Industry, especially the organised one, is coming back slowly and steadily. As the world economy starts recovering from recession, Indian economy which was witnessing a slow down, is likely to resume at 8 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
All key indices, right from exports, car sales, air traveler’s numbers, home sales to stock markets, are on the rebound. Fears about security, swine flu, famine, multiplex strikes are things of the past. All these are having a positive impact on consumer sentiments. Consumers are coming out of their “spending diet” and are back in malls, restaurants and department stores. The organised retail industry is going through a makeover. All the strong players have recalibrated their strategies. The focus has rightfully shifted – from chasing market share to profitable growth.
All players have reassessed their strengths and now focusing on a select few formats and categories.
At Shopper’s Stop we are at the midst of a fall turnaround. We will continue our focus on the two large format vehicles – Shopper’s Stop and Hypercity. On a current base of 28 department stores and 1.6 million square feet we will be adding approximately eight stores and four lakh square feet over the next 12 to 15 months. We will enter a number of new cities such as Aurangabad, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhopal, Coimbatore and Vijaywada. We will continue to dominate in a number of categories like beauty, jewellery, personal accessories. We will also expand the footplate for international brands like Mustang, Austin Reed and Playboy.
We believe that 2010-11 financial year will be a year of “All is well”.
Godrej Sara Lee
Before forecasting the future, we should delve into the past to highlight some of the long term trends relevant for the household insecticides industry (HI).
Clearly, when 2009 started, most of the world was in panic with the worst recession since World War II. Commodity prices went up sharply and then came down. This was followed by one of the worst monsoons. India seemed doomed.
Yet as we closed the year, there was optimism in the air. India still recorded a higher rate of growth (+7.5 per cent) than anyone predicted. The Congress party won the elections with a better majority and farmers were no longer dying of hunger.
This clearly states that we are on a long term trajectory of GDP growth. This means improved income levels and literacy and greater awareness of health and sanitation. Even Bihar, one of the BIMARU States, has recorded + 11 per cent growth over the last few years. In fact many of the BIMARU States – Jharkhand, Uttarakhand – recorded growth rates above the national average.
The second long term trend witnessed was migration, in turn leading to the rapid growth of cities. Immigrants tend to be hard working; they want access to education for their children and are more aware of health and hygiene issues compared to their rural cousins.
The third leading trend witnessed was increased media awareness. There has been wide coverage of pandemics like avian flu and swine flu.
These three factors contribute significantly to the growth of the HI industry. I expect that these trends will continue in the year 2010.
The challenge for the HI industry is to expand faster. Given a penetration of about 40 per cent of households, there is considerable room for growth. Reaching out to more households is the key focus for Godrej Sara Lee (GSLL) in 2010.
At GSLL, we expand significantly with consumer centric innovations. An important learning last year was the success of GK Active Liquidator which was developed based on consumer insights. This product innovation grew the market share tremendously inspite of being priced at a premium compared to all other products in the category.
We plan to communicate much more to our consumers about our innovations and brands. As consumers become more aware about safety and protection they rely more on brands that deliver these promises. We focused on media advertising last year and intend to continue this, going forward.
Our other area of focus is to reduce costs. Bringing down consumer price is the only way to widen our base of customers. We established a cost savings program jointly with our vendors about three years back and continue to reduce costs.
Clearly we see 2010 as one more year in our journey to make India disease free.
Fourrts (India) Laboratories
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is likely to cross a business of US$16 billion in the year 2009-10. One of the notable aspects this year has been that the export business is exceeding the domestic business. Indian pharmaceutical industry is also a net foreign exchange earner to the country.
With the abundant availability of technical manpower in manufacturing and research and development and the increasing number of world class plants in manufacturing, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is emerging as a prominent outsourcing base for pharmaceuticals in the world. Further, there are increasing opportunities for contract research and clinical research that may be tapped for international business.
With respect to therapeutic segments, lifestyle changes have resulted in growing requirement of drugs in Cardiovascular, Diabetic, Neuro, Physiatric and Oncology segments.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is likely to grow by 12 per cent in 2010-11 and the magical mark of Rs 1, 00,000 crore business is round the corner.
The challenges for the industry are in the form of misinterpretations by multinational companies and vested elements to classify non-patented drugs as spurious drugs and thereby affect Indian products’ image and acceptance in the global pharmaceutical industry. This needs to be corrected by proper public relations initiatives from the industry.
Price control is also another problem wherein the necessary freedom for the industry to grow and expand is curbed. We are also appealing to the government to have a price monitoring system in place instead of price control system, in order to reduce much of controls and provide more elbow room for the growth of the industry.