Showing posts from December, 2009

Organized Indian Retail – yesterday, today and tomorrow...

As I write this column while the first decade of the new millennium is transiting, I can’t but recall the way the last ten years have gone by for the Indian Retail Industry. As a child, I used to visit the PDS outlets to buy rice, sugar and kerosene (to heat water on a pump stove). A few years later, I would cycle a couple of kilometers from my house to a particular shop in Mandaveli, where a modern PDS store was opened – called Subiksha. Although organized better than a PDS outlet, the charm of shopping still didn’t exist; the concept was driven on the premise of “value”. Almost everything that was sold was 10% cheaper than many other grocery stores and the owners had played well to the sentiments of the price-conscious Madrasis. In 1996, the first wave of Organized Retail actually started off in India. Calcutta based Goenkas (of The RPG Group), who had interests in music, tea and tyres ventured into modern retailing. Accepting the invitation of their former CEO Mr. Raghu Pillai, Ace

WorldSpace – R.I.P.

I was shattered to receive a mail on Christmas Day - Friday the 25th Dec., from WorldSpace Inc. – that they will discontinue their services in India w.e.f. 31st Dec. 2009. More than the subscription money lost, I was pondering over the inability of such a service to sustain, especially in India. WorldSpace Corporation was founded in 1990 by Noah A. Samara, Chairman and CEO, with a vision to provide digital satellite audio, data, and multimedia services primarily to the emerging markets of Africa and Asia. To implement this vision, WorldSpace conceived and built the first ever satellite radio infrastructure in the world. In the past 12 years the company has built three satellites and launched two to provide audio, data, and multimedia broadcasting coverage to Africa, Asia, The Middle East and Western Europe. With the global headquarters in Washington D.C., Worldspace created the initial proprietary technology and programming infrastructure that both WorldSpace Satellite Radio and XM Sat

Gift vouchers and spread smiles this festive season…

It’s very Indian to gift – we actually do not need a reason to gift. Be it a birthday or an anniversary, new addition in the family or a new job, gifting is a given thing. So much so that a famous confectionery brand had launched a campaign a couple of months ago to gift chocolates during the beginning of every month – as one get’s his or her monthly salary! It is also widely believed that gifting existed in our culture for very long. For example in our Kannadiga culture, guests who attend a wedding are actually given some money and food on the last day of the wedding – the idea being that once they return home, they don’t have to cook food and the money given to them is for their conveyance back. Strange, but is still practised. They are also gifted clothing or cash equivalent during the course of the wedding as a token of appreciation of their visit and guests would even wear the same new clothes during the wedding. Similarly, we have many other examples in each culture and community