Kishore Biyani, head of India's largest retail conglomerate Future Group, has said that he is " open" to the idea of collaborating with foreign retail brands.
"We support the opening of retail sector to FDI ( foreign direct investment).
The retail industry in India needs access to more capital. Any form of competition is good for the business.
We are ready for it," Biyani said.
|Exploring new avenues|
- So far, government policy has prevented the entry of global retail giants like Wal- Mart or Tesco into India
- The firm has already made its mark in the metros with various retail stores, such as Pantaloon
- It is now targeting smaller cities like Durgapur, Guwahati, Vizag and Mysore for the expansion and growth of its retail business
- The firm has an image makeover in the pipeline for the apparel and accessories chain to target youngsters.
- It also aims to give the stores an international feel and look to keep up with competition
So far, government policy has prevented the entry of global retail giants like Wal- Mart or Tesco directly into India.
Wal-Mart, for instance, is in a wholesale joint venture with Bharti.
Asked if his company could be looking at similar tie-ups, Biyani said, "We are open to options and suitable collaboration. However, we cannot speculate on future plans."
The post-recession period has been good for Future Group. The recession spurred a correction in real estate prices, the biggest expense for any large retailer.
Now, Biyani is targeting smaller cities for the expansion and growth of his retail business. "The company has already made its mark in the metros with its various retail stores like Pantaloon," Biyani said.
"Going further, the company is targeting smaller cities such as Durgapur, Guwahati, Vizag and Mysore along with increasing the footprint in metropolitan cities," he added.
Biyani said that the company is planning to double the number of its flagship multi-brand Pantaloon stores in the next three to four years.
"We have already opened our fifty stores. Going forward, the company is planning to open 50 more stores in the next three to four years. Out of this, 10- 12 stores will be opened in the next 12 months," Biyani said.
"We have already identified the location for 25 of our stores out of which works is already under process for 18 stores. Majority of these will be in the smaller cities where the income is good and potential of growth is better," Biyani added.
The group has embarked on an image makeover for the apparel and accessories chain to target youngsters, Biyani observed.
The firm has already earmarked an investment of Rs 2,100 crore for the expansion of the Pantaloon stores over the next three years.
The company is already in the process of revamping the look of its existing stores and give it an international look and feel to keep up with competition.
"Sleek, contemporary and elegant are the key elements of the design of this store and we plan to replicate the same design in our forthcoming Pantaloons stores. We will also be revamping the existing stores in a couple of years," Biyani added.
Last month, Biyani had said the Future Group plans to invest Rs 2,100 crore over the next three years in expanding its retail footprint. Pantaloon Retail India's turnover for the initial three months ended September 30 this year stood at Rs 2,581.42 crore, up from Rs 1,954.21 crore during the corresponding period last year. Net profit for the same period rose to Rs 42.76 crore from Rs 26.33 crore in the previous year.