The consulting conclave brought to the spotlight an extremely relevant issue of metamorphosis of retail business in India. The business today is disrupted by the emerging concept of ‘digital consumer’, who demands multiple points of interaction ranging from physical stores to various digital media. Mr. Glenn Omura, Associate Dean of MBA/MS program at Michigan State University, delivered his keynote address revolving around the trends of e-commerce in India and the degree of penetration in the country. He also talked about the transforming world of e-commerce and the impact on brick and mortar format in the United States.
It was followed by a panel discussion comprising of representation from industry and academia. The discussion majorly entailed the past, present and future analysis of brick and mortar format and e-commerce. Prof. Prem Chandrani, chairperson-International Relations, SPJIMR, talked about the changing dynamics in the retail industry in the past decade. Mr. Ankur Bisen, Senior VP of Technopak spoke about the e-commerce strategies in general and e-commerce strategies implemented by the brick and mortar companies. Mr. Manish Chopra, the founder of Zovi.com, brought the regulatory perspective in picture and also the replication of brick and mortar experience online. Mr. Shivraj Subramaniam, Director-Central Marketing and Consumer Practices, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, discussed the future aspect, wherein he talked about whether companies would want to reduce the resource allocation to brick and mortar and concentrate more on virtual platform. The major takeaways from the discussion encompassed whether it’s the right environment for the investors to put their money in e-commerce and if there’s a possibility of coexistence of brick and mortar with retail format.