B.S.Nagesh is one of the pioneers of modern retail and has more than 32 years of experience in retail. He foundedTRRAIN (Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India) with the vision of empowering people in retail and relentlessly works to achieve immediate and lasting change in the lives of retail associates in India.
INTERVIEW WITH MR. B.S.NAGESH
TVC: : Do you think consumers postpone fabric and garment purchases in the years of high consumer prices and purchase more when prices have reduced?
B.S.:Not necessarily. Price and value has become an important part of any purchase decision, therefore certain kind of consumers buy only during EOSS (End of Season Sales) and discounted merchandise during online sale. On the other hand there are customers who are looking at convenience and experience and therefore their purchases will be based on their needs rather than the retailers’ price offering or inflation.
TVC:The present cloth and garment production in the country is US $ 120 billion worth, of which exports are US $ 40 billion and domestic consumption is US $ 80 billion. What do you expect domestic consumption to be by 2015?
B.S:The data for 2015 is not currently available. However I believe the apparel market will grow between 7-10% year on year,partly due to better penetration of retail in the tier 3 & 4 citiesand up-gradation of wardrobe due to improving lifestyles and aspirations of the Indian consumers.
TVC:There is a fundamental shake up in retail marketing. Apart from brick and mortar stores, e-retailing has captured consumers because of competitive prices and carrots like heavy discount. In e-retailing also, there are various models, some are software companies, providing a platform to manufacturer/supplier to sell their products. Some hold stocks in their name. There is a problem of taxation in some cases. Will you kindly give your views on different models?
B.S.:Online business is aligned to what is happening in the life of the consumer, therefore it is here to stay and that too for ever. However each of the models existing can be questioned from different angles especially from compliance as far as the FDI laws are concerned as well as the operating models in terms of discounting in the market place. If the GOI does not create a level playing field for offline and online retailers,we will see the small traders and the modern retail being hit over a period of time which is not healthy for the Indian businesses.
TVC:We learn that some leading mills and garment manufacturers are starting their own platform to sell their products. Do you think this trend will remain confined to top companies in the field?
B.S.: No,every brand owner will have to be connected to its consumers 24X7 and therefore you will find them connected through multi-channel including online/offline catalogue, etc. and also work on their own or through market places and different technology providers.
TVC:What is the ideal system of retailing from the point of view of manufacturers and from the angle of consumers?
B.S.: The ideal system from consumer end is to be able to shop whenevertheywant, from wherever they want at their fingertips. Manufacturers have no option but to align themselves with the consumer needs. However each brand/manufacturer should know their consumers and act accordingly.
TVC:Do you think product like fabrics or garments or home textiles are sold on strength of their feel, drape and fibre composition whereas price and mortar model scores over the rest?
B.S.: Fashion is sold on the basis of the look and how they can make the consumer feel good about one. Feel and drape are important andvalue is very critical,however I do not think consumer understands composition.