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Setting the tone for the next in retail in India, the Retail Leadership Summit 2018 focused on Customer Centricity



The 11th edition of Retailers Association of India’s (RAI) Retail Leadership Summit (RLS), presented by Reliance Retail Ltd., was flagged off in Mumbai with an inspiring opening speech by B S Nagesh, Chairman, RAI; Founder – TRRAIN. Organised by RAI, the Summit revolved around the central theme ‘Customer Centricity- Redefining Values and Valuations’.

“The Retail Leadership Summit has been created to ensure that retail leaders across the country can come in and discuss matters that are relevant to retail at an industry-level. Modern retail in India is becoming more and more competitive and is growing at more than 15 per cent. This kind of growth requires different focus for retailers to be able to exist and thrive. RLS is about customer centricity and the resulting valuation. However, the values that a company works with are an important contributor to the way a company gets formed and functions. These three aspects i.e. customer centricity, values and valuation are an apt set of topics for every retailer who is trying to grow and flourish in this consumption-led market,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, said while speaking about the Summit.

The tone of the discussions for the day was set by a special speech by V. Subramaniam, MD, Reliance Retail Ltd. Speaking about the theme, he said, “Digitisation is triggering transformational changes in customer behaviour. It is imperative that an organisation stays Customer Centric by inculcating a philosophy, which drives it to keep relentless focus on meeting customer expectations.”

Speaking about RLS, he added “RAI’s Retail Leadership Summit is a great platform to interact and learn from industry leaders. It is a forum to ideate about the emerging trends that are shaping the next generation retail.”

All through the day, the audience was treated to a treasure trove of knowledge and insights by some of the brightest minds in India Inc., including Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons Ltd; Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group; Ramanathan Hariharan, Group Director & Board Member, Landmark Group; and Ananth Chandramouli, Managing Director – Local Business Services (LBS), India and Middle East, Capgemini.

Spread across one and a half days, the Summit had an impressive line-up of panel discussions and roundtables on topics relevant to retail such as Customer Centricity: Redefining Values and Valuations; Innovations to Create the Customer Relevance; Keeping Retail Relevant: Evolving with the Consumer and Customer-Experience driven Transformation.

The country’s leading consultancies consider RLS as the preferred platform for releasing research reports. Some of the RAI co-branded reports released at the Summit included:

  • RAI – BCG: Decoding Value Creation in Retail
  • RAI – Capgemini: Conversational Commerce- Why Consumers are Embracing Voice Assistants in Their Lives
  • RAI – Deloitte: Trend-setting Millennials: Redefining the Consumer Story; and Anti-Profiteering – One Size will not fit all – key considerations & challenges
  • RAI – Great Place to Work: Successful People Strategies for a Competitive Advantage

In 2017, RAI had instituted the Retail Startup Awards to facilitate the infusion of fresh ideas and new players into the consumption space. In its second edition this year, the Retail Startup Awards 2018, presented by Future Group, received scores of entries, out of which 10 shortlisted start-ups presented 10-minute elevated pitches to a Grand Jury. The top 3 winning start-ups were then felicitated at a gala ceremony the same evening.

One of the star attractions at RLS 2018 was the Smart Store, curated by Network Bay, the concept for which was directed by Surender Gnanaolivu, senior consultant – retail experience. The Smart Store provided attendees a first-hand experience of the cutting-edge technologies adopted by leading retailers across the globe in the brick-and-mortar environment. Attendees witnessed how AI-powered chatbots, advanced analytics, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are transforming the in-store experience.

“Thanks to the efforts and innovations by various service providers, the new store is a true melting point of the real and the virtual. It is efficient, surreal and smart. Through the Smart Store at RLS 2018, the best in the industry have collaborated to give everyone a tantalising glimpse of the exciting possibilities,” said the RAI CEO.

RLS 2018 had something for everyone, making it the preferred networking hotspot for who’s who in retail, to forge new partnerships, exchange ideas and collaborate to take the industry to the next level.

Courtesy: The Retail Jeweller India News Service

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