TAPMI CXO Leadership Lecture Series: Guest Session by Mr. Damodar Mall, CEO – Reliance Retail

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TAPMI welcomed Mr.Damodar Mall, the man behind Big Bazaar, DMart and who is now with Reliance Retail. Mr. Mall is the author of the acclaimed book “Supermarketwalla : Secrets to Winning Consumer India” . Much of his interaction revolved around the contents of the book: why retailers should make room for the “elbow push factor”, how to stop short of becoming a “shopkeeper-in-law”, and what to design for the “Gold-collared man”, among other things.

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Mr. Mall discussed about the rapidly changing demographics and psychographics of the Indian population which has given rise to new opportunities and new challenges for the marketer. One area where we see the effect of this change is in retail.There is no longer one solution for all and it has become imperative to get to know consumers at close quarters to be able to talk to them meaningfully.Mr Mall talked about the changing roles and ways of the modern consumer and the aspects of behaviour that define a person’s attitude to retail.

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The interaction was very enlightening for the students as the speaker shared a lot of insights from the retail sector. He also answered various questions put forward by students. The guest lecture conducted by Mr. Mall at TAPMI was a great learning experience for the students, future retail managers and those who crave to understand consumer dynamics.

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Nilgiris’ CEO Mr. Murali Krishnan on retailing and the Nilgiris

ImageThe students of TAPMI had the privilege of attending a guest lecture on “Nilgiris Retail” by Mr.Murali Krishnan, the CEO of Nilgiris chain of retail stores. He was accompanied by Ms.Sarita, the head HR at Nilgiris. Mr. Murali Krishnan has an experience of over 20 years spanning various areas of management such as sales and trade marketing.

Mr. Krishnan started off by giving a brief introduction of Nilgiris, which as a brand has been synonymous with freshness, quality and fair price since 1905. He shed some light on the retail sector in India and the key drivers for consumption growth in the country. He pointed out that increasing awareness amongst Indian customers, favourable demographic profiles and rising income levels have driven the food and grocery segment in the country to occupy 60% of the retail market.

He further continued by explaining the business model of Nilgiris and how it has successfully overcome the challenges which a normal convenience store chain faces in the Indian context. He attributed Nilgiris success over its competitors to attractive store locations, its focus on fresh produce and franchisee involvement.

Mr. Krishnan further elaborated on the long heritage of Nilgiris retail, its loyal customer base and the premium as well as traditional offerings it has for its customers. He also shared with the audience about various innovative methods which have been undertaken for customer engagement such as festival based promotions and in store cookery classes by trained chefs. He promptly answered various queries which were raised by the students about the future expansion of Nilgiris, introduction of online stores and shelf space categorization in stores across various cities.

Overall, the session was quite informative and interactive and provided the students with a plethora of information regarding the retail market in the country and how Nilgiris has established itself as a pioneer in the world of retail store chains in the country.