Global retailers and Indian conglomerates started to get serious about thelarge Indian retail opportunity about a decade ago. Over the past ten years or so retail in India has seen many domestic and global companies build a play into possibly the most promising consumer opportunity around the world.

However, even as the overall market numbers continue to look very attractive and India continues to grow consumption at a pace faster than any other major economy in the world, very few retailers have been able to crack the code for profitable growth.

For many, the Indian retail opportunity has thus far been a long chase, with profitability and scale an elusive goal.

As our research reveals, more than 85% of retailers have not been able to meet their original vision and have had to rethink their goals. 

 A lot has been said about the disruption caused by the revolutionary pace of digital access which has made retailers rethink their strategy and value proposition.

Our research also reveals that the a large number of retailers encountered myriad challenges of execution in an environment where quality of real estate, talent and infrastructure were not keeping pace with the expansion plans of the retailers. In a bid to scale fast many retailers made suboptimal choices which led to a dilution of the envisaged value proposition and poor profitability, consequently making them underprepared for the large-scale disruption and new age competition with deep pockets.

As the Industry today stands on the cusp of a new future driven by growing consumption, improving infrastructure and supportive regulation, retailers are still very bullish about growth prospects in India and several are indeed delivering double digit growth. However, they do realise that in order to grow profitably and achieve scale and relevance they will need to do things differently in the future.

So, what is it that retailers in India are missing? How should they replan their future to achieve the growth trajectory they aspire to?

This year we conducted an extensive research across CXOs from a large cross section of global and domestic retailers present in India and present this report ‘The promise of Indian retail: From vision to execution’. This report aims to understand some of these questions by taking a fresh look at the journey of these retailers in order to unravel and piece together what it takes to grow profitably in this market.

We hope this report stimulates increased conversation and engagement in our ongoing quest to better unravel one of the largest retail opportunities in the world.