When the history of Indian modern retail was written, the last 20 years would be considered as the most important. Between 1999 and 2019, there have been many phases of retailing. From mom and pop stores, brick and mortar, malls, and the first round of modern trade foray by Biyani’s, Birla’s and Reliance, Indian modern retail has evolved as it faced its first major challenge with online players and their deep discounts.
Over time, there was further evolution and players like D-Mart, Future Group, and Reliance Retail continued to grow with vigour. As things stand now, words like click and mortar, online to the offline network effect, and ecosystem have become the buzz words. While the Indian consumer is hungrier for more, adapts faster to change, and still wants more bang for the buck, the one thing that has not changed, is the change itself.
To track the evolution of Indian retail, CNBC-TV18’s Mangalam Maloo visits a neighbourhood Sahakari Bhandar that has upgraded itself to a smart Sahakari Bhandar and met Damodar Mall, chief executive officer of Reliance Retail.