India is one of the most reliable retail destinations in the world. With an accelerated growth rate of 15-20 percent expected over the next five years, India has emerged as the fifth most favorable destination for international retailers outpacing UAE, Russia, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, according to A.T. Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index 2012.
Our retail sector is worth US$ 350 billion and has a low penetration of organised retail at just 5 – 6 percent. Our online retail market, although it is nascent, is growing at double digit rates and is likely to be the next format that retailers will give more priority to incorporate into their operation. The e-commerce revenues in India are expected to increase more than five times, from US$ 1.6 billion in 2012 to 8.8 billion in 2016, according to a Forrester report.
A power-packed panel from the retail industry was at SCMS, a few days ago, to discuss and deliberate on the opportunities and challenges arising out of the recent decision of the government to allow FDI in multi-brand retail trade as a significant growth catalyst for the Indian economy.
The doyens from the industry were unanimous in strongly recommending the mantra of constant innovation as an essential requisite to become operationally efficient and to sustain the business growth in the highly competitive market. I would say that if ever there was a time when innovation and creativity were necessary for the survival and growth of any business organisation, it is now.
Bill Gates aptly put it this way: “Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in such a short time,” As competition is intensifying day after day in every business landscape the
only possible way to stay ahead is to embrace the challenge of innovation. Businesses that fail to innovate are likely to run the risk of losing ground to competitors or losing their most crucial employees or operating at low efficiency.
One of the most remarkable stories of innovation turnarounds in American history is that of Whirlpool. Nancy T. Snyder, the Chief Innovation Officer of Whirlpool, along with her co-author Deborah Duarte have narrated in their landmark book Unleashing Innovationthe inside story of how consistent and
profitable innovation could be created by involving all the employees of the company.
It talks about how to create a strong and sustainable innovation culture in an organisation thereby making innovation the responsibility of every employee of the company. Starting with the goal of making innovation everyone’s daily job, Whirlpool had systematically proceeded to embed the innovation gene in its employees and in every management process. What it takes to make innovation a
genuine core competence is vividly presented in the book.
The book repudiates the myth that innovation comes only from geniuses, especially in science and technology. Innovation is not necessarily the preserve of only scientists and technologists. Every one of us has the potential to become an innovator. It is a domain open to all those who can think differently and with imagination. All that is required is to cultivate the habit of thinking out-of-the box about things around you, try to find new solutions to problems or generate new ways to address the challenges you come across.
All our past experiences confirm the truth that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he has reached for the impossible. Therefore, let us firmly believe that there is nothing beyond possibility. And to enable us to embark on a path of limitless possibilities, let us draw inspiration
from the ground rule given to us by the great scholar Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave trail.’
Dr. G.P.C. Nayar
Chairman, SCMS Group