Indian retail sector

By Priya Chetty on January 13, 2012

The most promising and booming industry of future is retailing. At Kearney, a well-known international management consultancy, recently identified India as ‘the most attractive retail destination’ globally from among thirty emergent markets (AT Kearney, 2007).

With organized retail in India pegged at Rs. 25,000 crore (Rs 250 billion) in 2009 — out of a total of Rs 800,000 crore (Rs. 8,000 billion) (Gupta and Gupta, 2006) — and a double digit growth rate, marketing companies are setting up shops to provide differentiated services to clients. Until recently, salesmen were the link between the retailer and the producer. The disadvantage with sales personnel is that they are busy selling a product and do not have a fair idea of what retailing is about. Today, the focus is to prioritise retail i.e. not only to sell a product to a consumer but to get the consumer to interact with the product. Retailing is no more mere availability of a product. With competition becoming stiffer companies are looking at ‘experiential’ marketing. Also the lack of proper metrics to measure marketing spends is a serious issue.

In today’s swiftly changing business environment, it is essential to be in the know – to be constantly on the move, keeping tabs on the shifting trends in the market place and maneuvering strategies to stay competitive. The retail arena today is facing a similar environment, with opportunities that are incredible but it is a challenge for companies to exploit them (

Kearney’s annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), in 2008, puts India as the fifth largest retail destination globally (Pradhan, 2009). Currently the retail industry stands at 390 billion and growing at decent rate. Internet penetration rate in India is 7.1% which is one of the highest in the world. More often than not, it’s being argued that online shopping is convenient but yet an isolated activity. This format of easy-to-order-easy-to-deliver has been catching up with the tech-savvy buyers but it has always been looked upon as option out of necessity and not pleasure. In order to break this monotony, the concept of socializing was introduced to the online buying experience. Moreover a very high percentage of the population accessing internet in India is in the age group of 20-45 years. In spite of all this online retailing forms a meager 0.08% of the total Indian retail market.


  • A. T. Kearney Inc.  A Consultancy Firm :
  • A.T.Kearney Inc. A Consultancy Firm :
  • “Retail Scene in India – Touching Meteoric Height” by Deepa Gupta, Mukul Gupta, Department of Management Studies – IILM Academy of Higher Learning.