Showing posts with label Easy Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easy Day. Show all posts

21 March, 2014

Reliance wins handsdown

The first store for Reliance came up in Hyderabad. It was a grocery retail format and many skeptics wrote off the idea, citing intense competition in this segment. Gross Margins are low, two-digits and net margins, if any are a mere 4-6%. So, how would the company ever make money? Further, there were already established players in this segment, especially in the South (of India) such as Foodworld, Spencers, Food Bazaar, Nilgiris, FabMall, Trinetra (now together More), Fresh @ from Heritage Foods – the list could go on! But patience and perseverance has helped the company in the long term. According to a report in the most respected Hindustan Times newspaper, the company would become the largest Retailer in India by Sales in 2013-2014. The company is expected to close the year with $2 Billion in Sales, approx. INR 12,000 Crores. And it made a meagre INR 78 Crores last year and has made INR 278 Crores in 2013-14. That’s not bad at all. The company has been able to achieve scale over the past 7 years and its many Chief Executives of respective businesses have built the business brick by brick, sweating and toiling between Board Rooms and Store fronts.

Take a quick look at how the numbers stack up;

Reliance Retail

It’s a commendable achievement for Reliance Retail to achieve this position. Those who know me well would now agree what I have been saying ever since Reliance joined the fray in the Retail sector. I predicted right in the beginning that they are here for the long term. With a cash pile of INR 90,000 Crores and managing the largest Oil refinery in the world, Reliance has real deep pockets. And its Chairman Mukesh Ambani is not someone to open and shut businesses. Its not in their blood. Dirubhai Ambani, the patron founder of the group tht every household in India should have a Reliance product in some form or the other. The group created a furore in 2002 when the Reliance Mobile network was launched with an exciting Rs. 501/- package making it the most affordable mobile phone of its times. Similarly, they forayed into various other businesses and turned around all of them, albeit patiently.

One of the biggest reasons why Reliance has been able to reach where they are is also because of steadfast focus in the formats that they have opened and operated. They just have one Hypermarket, One Digital Electronics Format, three formats in Fashion, one in Jewelry and half a dozen international brand tie-ups. Makes it easy to focus on scaling up each vertical constantly. Reliance operates small supermarkets which compete with Kiran Stores and other organized players such as Spencers, Foodworld, Food Bazaar, etc. Reliance hyper directly competes with Metro AG, Best Price (Bharti Retail), Hypercity (K Raheja Group), Total (Jubilant  Retail), Big Bazaar (Future Group) nd other local wholesale markets and APMC operated mandis. In the fashion segment, Reliance Trends is positioned against Lifestyle (Dubai based Landmark Group), Shoppers Stop (India’s largest Department store Chain) and Pantaloon (now owned by Aditya Birla Group). Reliance Footprints has a unique positioning and doesn’t have major names for competition except Metro and Mochi who have a pan-India presence. Reliance Jewels competes with the local jewelry stores in each micro market. Reliance Brands such as Diesel, Quicksilver, etc. compete with their international competitive brands.

This is just the beginning. Look how Reliance is going to grow leaps and bounds in times to come. I am still sure that they wouldn’t have a JV with the global biggies such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, etc. They would rather grow organically in times to come.

The game gets more interesting.

03 October, 2011

Dasera – Diwali Dhamaka for Retailers

A former colleague of mine, a Swiss gentleman once quipped that everyday in India is a festival day! Well, he was right in a way, maybe not quite literally though. With so many religions and diverse cultures, indeed every day may have some form of festival in India…

This October month is one of those rare ones – that benefit Grocery Retailers, typically supermarket and hypermarket chains like Food Bazaar, Reliance, Spencer's, More, SPAR, EasyDay and others. Navaratri / Dasera, which commenced on 27th Sep continues into the first week of October and Diwali will be celebrated during the last week of the month. Typically, the monthly Grocery shopping happens once a month, usually in the last week of the month gone by or during the first week of the current month. But in this case, families would have to shop twice, and probably more quantities than usual – roughly 1.5 to 2 times the average quantities. Navaratri is celebrated in different forms and signify different things for people across the country. in Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Karnataka, families set-up dolls at home – popularly known as the “Kolu”. During this period, Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are prayed and celebrated three days each. Every evening, women folk and children visit houses of neighbours and are fed with “sundal” – the nine grains, one each every day. Now – this category is shopped for extensively before the festival commences which may not be consumed so much otherwise through the year. Also, the visitors are gifted small household articles usually made of plastic and this category also sees an increase in sales during the period. Fruits, which are distributed benevolently, see a surge in price and hence consumers prefer shopping at Supermarkets and Hypermarkets for a better bargain.

DSC00014

In Gujarat and West Bengal, it is more a societal occasion. While Hindus celebrate it the most, people across all walks of life join into the celebrations. While “Dandiya” – an art form of dance is the most happening one in Gujarat, the Bengalis install huge “Pandals” which showcase Goddess Durga in different forms. People visit Pandals day and night and wear new clothes (in Bengal) while late evening Dandiya sessions are regular during the week. And obviously, new clothes are something that every one looks forward to! Even Western / Foreign brands (like Benetton seen below) join in the festivities by promoting themselves during this period.

Just around the corner is Diwali – the festival of lights and the biggest grosser for Retailers across categories. This festival is also celebrated in its unique way across the country. While families shop for Electronics and Gadgets, Home Furniture, Clothing and Accessories, sweets for distribution and consumption is a big hit too. Retailers and Brands have already started advertising for the ensuing Diwali as well and is expected to step up their promotions starting this weekend.

If there is one category that sees a low, it’s liquor and alcoholic beverages. People generally refrain from visiting bars / consuming such beverages due to the ensuing festivities but things are indeed changing. And hopefully, this category will support Retailers in November which is expected to be one of the lowest months  for business since there are not major festivals (duh) until the Christmas season commences. Anyway, wishing each one of you Seasons’ Greetings and of course, Happy Shopping!

15 June, 2010

Low Cost: It’s all about perception!

There is a famous saying doing the rounds in recent times: 19th Century globally was about roadways, 20th century was about railways and the 21st century is all about airways. How true!


Mainline media was abuzz over the past weekend about the most recent development in Indian Aviation – Sun Network owner Kalanidhi Maran had purchased a strategic stake in his personal capacity in Spicejet (IATA Code: SG), the second largest low-cost airline in the country by market share. While the deal has been on the table for over 3-4 months, the timing couldn’t have been better. Passenger and Cargo traffic is at an all time high since late – 2008 after the global recession and the US sub-prime crisis. Major airports such as Delhi IGI, Mumbai CSIA and Bengaluru International Airport are squeezed for space and the check-in / security queues during peak hours could take as high as 30 minutes per person. Spicejet, apart from other low-cost airlines such as Indigo, Go Air, etc. have been in operation for around five years, ever since the first low-cost airline in India, Air Deccan was launched. It has carved a niche for itself with its on-time performance and crew service standards just like its main competitor, Indigo. Jet Airways, India’s premier airline and Kingfisher, the only five-star airline in the country, also have their respective low-cost avatars, Jet Konnect and Kingfisher Red respectively, which directly compete in the same price segment.



















So what’s with a media baron who is the leader in his own right in TV (Sun TV networks), Radio (S FM), DTH (Sun Direct) and many other related businesses got to do with Aviation? His critics slammed saying he lacks experience and exposure in the business to which he replied “CEO needs core competence; Chairman needs foresight”. Well said Mr. Maran. After all, he had purchased an entity which was operating in the low-cost segment. The concept of low-cost and low-fare have been misread in India for some time now. Air Deccan was actually low-cost and low-fare – the airline had minimal usage of resources (human and others) compared with many other scheduled airlines such as Air India and Jet Airways. The in-flight services were minimal and water for drinking was being sold – contrary to an almost Indian way-of-living “Athithi Devo Bhava” (Guests are treated like God). World over, low-cost airlines are the ones who are faring well even during the slowdown. That’s because their business model is like that. Scheduled airlines in India are competing on price but retain many other value-added services, which is what costs them and like how! A quick comparison between various airlines revealed that the fare difference on low-cost and scheduled airlines between Bangalore and Delhi if booked a week in advance is not more than Rs. 800/-. While Spicejet and Indigo offer the ticket at Rs. 5,476, Jetlite at Rs. 5,497/-, Jet Airways at Rs. 5,548/- and Air India at Rs. 6,210/-. 















There is a lot that can be compared between Aviation and Retail. Global experts on Macro-Economics say that for a buoyant economy, Aviation must grow twice the rate of the national GDP. That’s been the case in India since early 2000s, barring a few months of turbulence since mid-2008. The same applies for Retail. Both industries propel consumption and reflect growing consumerism and aspirational affordability; both bring in healthy competition and the uncompetitive are flushed out within a few years; both Industries grow only by scale – larger the number, higher the economies of scale. Both industries are a favourite for international players driving FDI into the country. Both provide direct and indirect employment for thousands of people (although aviation globally is reducing the number of staff per 1,000 pax, this number would continue to remain high in India due to localization issues). And both can work pretty much independently without Government support although policy decisions do affect the functioning of the industries.





























Organized Retail has been growing at over 15% CAGR for leading retailers ever since they came into foray during the last decade. The highest growth has been for retailers nicknamed “Hypermarkets” led by Big Bazaar, a Future Group entity that commenced business in the year 2001 at a nondescript VIP Road, east of Calcutta. And the rest, as they say has been not just history, but historical! The group has managed to open over 140 outlets, over half of which were during the past 4 years. Other players in the same business include Hypercity (by the Rahejas), Star Bazaar (by the Tatas), Reliance Hyper, More (by the Birlas), Spar (by the Landmark Group of Dubai), Total (by the Jubilant Group), Easy Day (by the Bhartis) and many other local and regional players. The idea was simple – lease a big box location; project the business as low-cost, sell atleast 100 items at the lowest price possible and communicate the same en-masse. By attracting thousands of shoppers to visit the store, Retailers look to sell their products in large quantities thereby managing better economies of scale. The business would become profitable over a period of time, but only with more number of outlets selling more SKUs.  Not all the items in a Hyper are always low-cost; At the end of it, it’s all about perception – of Low-Cost. Hypers reinforce the fact that the key household items are below the selling price in the local markets; this acts as a bait to attract shoppers to visit the store. Over a period of time, consumers get hooked to the idea of shopping in a relaxed, convenient, hygienic environment where they could also save some money!

So whether it is a Low-cost airline or a Hyper, its all about perception. And there are many who are trying it hard. Only some will succeed. After all, those who do so will have people at the helm with foresight. It surely helps. 

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