Saturday, October 14, 2006

Arvind Singhal on India's retail outlook

Arvind Singhal Chairman of Technopak Advisors and one of the best known voices of the Indian retail industry writes about his concerns about the rapid growth and soaring dreams of India's retail dreams.
My concerns are largely on three major counts - availability of suppliers and supplies, availability of land at the "right" location and price to build or lease retail space, and availability of "trainers" to train the millions that need to be hired, and inducted at the shop floor level.
With no clarity on optimising this scarce resource, and practically no vision on having a policy that periodically releases land (and increases FSI) for more pressing needs such as housing, commercial offices, retail shops, schools, hospitals, and hotels - the sudden spurt of investment activity in retail alone will create a demand of at least 300 million square feet of additional retail space in the next 3-5 years. Demand-supply imbalance will severely dent the growth (and of course, the financial viability) plans of most of the players.

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