Make in India, sell in India: Government to free up FDI in multibrand retail?

This government has already exercised such a model in the foods category. Last year it allowed 100% FDI in food trading provided all of the goods were produced domestically.
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Biyani sees no future in speciality retail formats

The move is expected to affect 180-200 of the about 1,200 outlets that the nations largest retailer runs across supermarket.
Change of guard at ITC's lifestyle arm

The change comes at a time when the company is making a strategic shift —people in the know said ITC is trying to make John Players an online-focussed brand
Why is the market waiting for the D-Mart IPO?
In financial year 2015-16, D-Mart made a profit of Rs318.19 crore on revenues of nearly Rs8,600 crore. The company’s profit after tax rose more than 50% year-on-year
Exclusive: Jewellery e-tailer Johari Shop goes omni-channel, gets angel funding

Jewellery e-commerce marketplace Johari Shop has raised $94,000 (Rs 62.5 lakh) from three angel investors, including a diamond exporter and a high net-worth individual, to power its omni-channel efforts. The company will invest the capital to work on its omni-channel strategy that would start with the launch of its first brick-and-mortar store in Bangalore’s VR mall by the end of February, co-founder and CEO Ankit Banthia told VCCircle. He didn’t disclose the names of the investors.
India's organized retail market a $75 billion opportunity for retailers: CBRE

The organized retail sector that is estimated to reach nearly 18-20% of the total sector, by 2020, is growing at a annual high rate of 20%-25%, said C..

Chennai's MSME Community is all excited about The Dollar Business G.R.O.W. Workshop

February 20, 2017, Chennai: The Dollar Business, India's most exclusive platform on export-imports, manufacturing and services trade, will conduct The Dollar Business G.R.O.W. (Generate Rewarding Opportunities Worldwide) Workshop at Fortel Hotel in Chennai on February 24, 2017. The workshop in Chennai will be the third in the series of G.R.O.W. Workshops planned across the country during 2016-17. The previous two editions of the workshop, held in Agra and Coimbatore, witnessed an overwhelming participation from the members of the MSME community, including manufacturers, merchant traders, service providers, among others.

The G.R.O.W. workshop agenda is designed to guide and equip individuals in undertaking export-import activities, and give them an adequate tour of EXIM procedures, documentation, available incentives, challenges, etc. The Chennai workshop will witness discussions and dialogues on several topics including:

  • Export documentation and procedures
  • Why building trust and delivering quality is more important for MSMEs than building a brand in international markets
  • Export financing schemes available to India's MSME community
  • Myths of exports that can be overcome easily through the opportunities presented by The Dollar Business platform

The Dollar Business has been constantly organising conclaves and workshops in tier I, II and III locations across India to help MSMEs and various other stakeholders of India's foreign trade fraternity deal with international business issues. Till date, representatives from thousands of MSMEs as well as large companies have participated in The Dollar Business conclaves and workshops held across India. The workshop is not only for the EXIM community but for anyone who wants to make it big in the world of foreign trade.

About the Dollar Business
The Dollar Business is the most exclusive platform on foreign trade in India. It offers everything that exporters, importers and those in the manufacturing and services sectors would have ever wished to see at one place - from India's most exclusive International Marketplace that assures any business an unbeatable edge of attention from verified buyers-sellers from around the world to a Forum that gives exporters and importers an opportunity to raise their voices against issues affecting their business. And what is perhaps the one feature that highlights The Dollar Business' efforts to further the cause of India's exporters is its GROW Programme, which is a part of the Membership Programmes that The Dollar Business has launched. The USP of this exclusive feature is that all members get access to unbeatable analyses and in-depth, actionable research from TDB Intelligence Unit, an opportunity to interact with an expert panel to clarify all their doubts with respect to foreign trade, besides many others! In short, The Dollar Business is not only for those who want to conquer the world of foreign trade, but is also for those who need a calculated launchpad to tap into the global consumer base!

To read more, log on to
For more information, please contact:
Anusha Vuthaluru |+91-8886331150|



With the economic diversification plans in place, key government authorities across kingdom are emphasizing on providing the best quality of life for their citizens, which means seamless transportation, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, round the clock security, affordable housing and most importantly creating citizen centric cities. Having realized that, the citizen centric cities can only be created through better urban planning and connected infrastructures using a combination of friendly policies, state-of-the-art technologies and good governance.

Acting on the Kingdom's Vision 2030, the Kingdom will be investing over US$ 500 billion into modernizing its infrastructure across the 285 municipalities to provide the best quality of life for their citizens on par with global standards and the major contributor towards these milestones would be the Smart Technologies.

With the responsibility of developing urban infrastructure and creating citizen centric cities, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA), which is the governing body of all the municipalities across the Kingdom is hosting the First Saudi Smart Cities 2017 conference from 16-18 May at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Conference will be convened under the gracious patronage of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs. It is, with the accompanying Exhibition, the first of its kind in the Kingdom which will feature over 1000+ attendees from across the Kingdom and abroad who are and will be involved in the Smart Cities project, and also feature presentation on best practices in Smart Cities from over 20+ countries. Since technology is the major enabler for the success any smart city, leading solution providers both local and international will be showcasing their strengths and capabilities to help the Kingdom reach their ultimate goals.

It is worth mentioning the Conference is jointly organized by Dar Al Riyadh - a company head quartered in Saudi Arabia with capabilities in Development of Smart Cities Profiles, Urban Planning, Infrastructure Design, GIS Services, Transportation Planning, and Smart Applications, and Nispana Innovative Platforms - a company head quartered in India, with offices in Dubai and USA, is a leading Business Intelligence firm hosting market driven and educational conferences and trainings.

Prof. Abdullah Al Garni, General Manager, Dar Geomatics - Dar Al Riyadh quoted: "Our company has been working over the past four decades on developing advanced technologies and smart applications for the benefit of the national development; and given the privilege by the Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs to work on the Smart Cities initiative across the Kingdom, our company will be supporting this Conference for fulfilling the expectations of policy makers in the Kingdom, and facilitating knowledge sharing and meetings among key stakeholders who are and will be involved in the upcoming Smart Cities projects".

Mr. Narendra Kumar, Managing Director, Nispana added that "Nispana has been working with various government authorities over the past 18 months to contribute to the diversification effort of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in line with the VISION 2030. With the support of Minister of Municipal Affairs, we are very humbled to be one of the chosen company to be working on this initiative. I definitely look forward to a great event and we at Nispana look forward to extending our offerings and services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".
For more information, please contact:

DarGeomatic - Dar Al Riyadh
Mr. Saad Ayedh Al-Garni
Mobile: +96654539444
Website: ps

Nispana Innovative Platforms
Mr. Jaisimha Das, Head Marketing & Communications
Mobile: +966 54 545 7305
Tel: +91 80 4933 1001

The Department of Legal Metrology, Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued an advisory relaxing packaged commodities regulations for Garments, Hosiery products.

1. The department of Legal Metrology has issued an advisory dated 16th December 2016 to Legal Metrology controllers of all the states and union territories for enforcement of Legal Metrology (Packaged commodities) Rules 2011 for Garments, Hosiery products.

2. As per the advisory, the mandatory labelling requirement under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 are applicable only for pre - packaged commodities, defined under Section 2 (I) of Legal Metrology Act, 2009.

3. The mandatory labelling requirements for pre - packaged commodities are therefor not applicable for garments sold in loose form.

4. With effect from 1st July 2017, the labelling requirements for garments sold in loose form in retail stores may include only four declarations e.g. 1. Name/Description of the product, 2. Size: Internationally recognizable size indicators - S, M, L, XL etc. along with details in metric notion in terms or cm or m as case may be, 3. MRP, 4. Name, Full address & Customer Care No. of the manufacture.

5. In the case of readymade garments sold to consumer in Pre-packaged form, declarations required under the Rules may be made. Further, the size of the garments needs to be mentioned in metres or centimetres, as the case may be, and any detail such as S, M, L, XL, XXL etc. may be treated as additional declaration. Click here to download the notification


Why encouraging greater participation of women in modern food & grocery retail stores is a good idea?

A cursory look at any modern food & grocery retail store across formats and cities reveals a far greater percentage of men in the workforce than women. In most such stores and formats, women don't seem to comprise more than 10-15% of the workforce when their number should be atleast 3 times higher, if not more!!

While this may have to do with some of the policies that have shaped modern retail in india and with the prevailing environment of perceived security threats to women's safety and security, to my mind it also has to do equally with historical perceptions carried by decision makers who in most cases happen to be men on what women staff can or can't do.

I guess elaborating these perceptions or policies is futile. It will suffice to say that for every perceived drawback and perception there is a robust rationale on why participation of women in food and grocery retail must be encouraged for this sector to move forward.


The following 3 points need to be borne in mind to better understand the recommendation

a. The end user: Most food and grocery formats stock a multitude of brands and skus - sometimes over 5000 to 7000 SKUs - in a single supermarket store and more than 20000 SKUs (food n grocery) in a hyper!! These are brands, products and SKUs that burgeoning India is familiar with and buys on a day to day basis. While most of such products are consumed by the household in general, there is greater connect that the products have with women - than with men. Think fruits and vegetables, daals and spices, attas, rice, sauces, cooking masalas and pastes, cosmetics, household cleaners, detergents, shampoos and skin creams and so on. For most such products the key end user is a woman.

b. The decision maker: More than 75% of the shoppers in most such stores happen to be women on a consistent and ongoing basis. They come in, browse, engage, make their choices and then take the final call based on their past experience, recommendation from friends or store staff or basis shelf displays, POS material or by advertising that they may have seen.

c. Intuitive knowledge: Most employees (incl men and women) that work in the front end as contract staff in retail stores come in from relatively weaker socio-economic segments. So their own first-hand experience with many of the products is likely to be low. In such cases, their intuitive knowledge on such products or their usage is always beneficial.

The Rationale

My view is built around 3 pegs - Intuitive Knowledge, Inherent skills and attitude.

1. Knowledge: In a scenario where most users and most shoppers who engage with food and other fmcg products are women, as retailers, if we are serious about influencing choices, then one of the first questions that we must ask is  whether the predominant male staff - is aiding or actually becoming a hindrance to achieving the said objective.How can someone with his own limited experience and intuitiveness (shaped by his gender and past experiences) and perfunctory knowledge of these products suddenly become effective in influencing the choice of consumers who in almost all cases are likely to know more about the product than him. In most such cases, experience shows that women staff members are able to bring their superior innate knowledge (shaped by their gender and experiences) to the fore more effectively and help increase store and format productivity.

2. Skill: Many of the front end roles in retail stores involve merchandising, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, cashiering, etc. Again from a larger and maybe traditional perspective, these are roles that have been the domain of women for years. The fact that they seem to enjoy these tasks better than men do, makes it easier for them to appreciate the rigour and  importance of the jobs and to excel in them. Ask a guy to spot dust and grime in the store and ask a woman employee to now do the same thing. The difference would be apparent when you notice the half a dozen areas highlighted by women employees that could be maintained better. Ditto for merchandising stuff on shelves. Women, thanks to their inherent skill tend to arrange and organize better as also maintain hygiene and cleanliness better than their male counterparts. They also tend to be more agile, skilled and in general dexterous with their hands. The fastest cashiers in Natures Basket for instance tend to be women. So more women would mean not just better presented stores but operationally more efficient stores as well - something that consumers are likely to notice and talk about as well as make front line Managers happy.

3. Attitude: The final point that I make is that of attitude and connect. The way women easily make friends, engage, converse or connect with other women is far superior than the way men connect with women or say even with other men. Observe women on trains, flights, salons, in markets or while exercising in the gym. There is a natural conversation almost always on! They are also likely to be part of many more whatsapp groups than men!! It is rare to find them coming out of any public place without having conversed with at-least one complete stranger. This is again something so intuitive, and so innate that it doesn't seem to require any extra effort; nor does it seem to be limited to any socio economic class. Unfortunately for most men, forming such easy connects is going against their grain. This makes the job of front end male store staff who are mostly faced with women shoppers, that much more difficult and stressful. Conversely, more women as front end store staff is likely to have longer term benefits in terms of improved productivity as well as improved customer loyalty for the business.

None of the above is to suggest that men can't do some of the things detailed above as good as women staff members can or that women are good only in the roles described above, or that external training inputs can't change any of the above, it is just to point out that in certain areas, women are naturally more gifted and all things being equal, better equipped to perform and contribute to the business better.

Arguments from front line Managers ranging from perceived instability in the business due to attrition caused by marriage or pregnancy, in the case of female staff must be challenged with hard data. Surprisingly, attrition - which is in general high across retail businesses - tends to be lower for women than men!!

As retailers and marketeers, we need to be cognizant of this reality. The perceptions that our operations staff may be carrying about the alleged capability of women staff must be challenged by making them understand and appreciate the above. To begin with food retailers could experiment in catchments that are perceived to be safer. The argument to have an open mind and a willingness to experiment to make our retail workplaces more gender diverse stems from the understanding that no one gender can completely understand or appreciate the mindset and behavior of every consumer. By giving women an equal opportunity to showcase their natural skills, we as retailers would go a long way in improving consumer connect and make our stores more productive than what they are today.