National Retail Summit 2015 (NRS), an initiative by Retail Management Department of K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, took place at their Vidyavihar campus on 5, 6 and 7 of February. The theme of NRS 2015 was ‘Retail Branding & Private Labels: The growing trend of private label brands and its prospect in the upcoming years’.
NRS was initiated five years ago by the students of Retail Management Department. Their main objective was to bridge the gap between the academic world and the retail industry. The three-day event was spread with various facets of the World of Retailing. NRS comprised of Kurukshetra, a National-level inter-B-School Retail Case Study competition – the only one of its kind in the country, panel discussions on various niche aspects of retail management, a successful retail entrepreneurial story to encourage the budding entrepreneurs, and a series of flamboyant retail activities organized by students in the campus. This unique blend of academia and corporate world shares the significant contribution, challenges and constraints faced by retail industry in India.
The ceremony was inaugurated by Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailer’s Association of India (RAI) in the honorable presence of Mr. Lawrence Fernandez from RAI and Deba Adhya, currently heading private label, merchandising & store design at Tata Croma. Kumar Rajagopalan addressed the enthusiastic students about the Retail Market in India, RAI’s presence and how it helps the retailing sector in the competitive global scenario and entertained their various questions. Deba Adhya gave the keynote address on the theme of the summit, ‘Retail Branding and Private Labels’, and shed light on the growing strength in Private Labels.
Kurukshetra, the flagship event of NRS, had an online preliminary round and a final on-campus round, in which 6 teams were shortlisted to participate, on 5th February. The case studies were real-time cases provided by the event sponsor, Tata Croma. The event saw participants from major B-Schools such as NITIE, JBIMS, GIM and SIBM, Pune. The competition was judged by Mr. Manish Pradhan and Ms. Pooja Telavane. The first prize of Rs. 15000 and goodies along with the Kurukshetra 2015 Trophy was won by JBIMS and GIM bagged the runners-up prize of Rs. 5000 and goodies.
Two panel discussions took place on the 2nd day. The first panel consisted of Mr. Manish Pradhan, General Manager of Private Labels at Croma, Mr. Vivek Rastogi, Head of SAP Retail & IT Applications at BestSeller India Ltd and Mr. Francis Pereira, DGM – Marketing at Pan India Foods Solutions Pvt Ltd. The panel discussion on “Unlocking the potential of Retail Branding and Private Labels” was moderated by Prof. (Dr.) Monica Khanna, leading faculty in the Marketing Dept of KJ SIMSR. Together they discussed and debated about the possibilities of growth for private labels in the retail arena, their pros and cons, the differences between the global and Indian scenarios and ample amount of examples to support their points. Their consensus was that private labels were a strong niche to be recognized in the retailing sector with huge marketing possibilities and a great strength to retailer chains.
The afternoon session also included a success story of retail entrepreneurship by Sachin Kamat, Director of Enrich Hair & Skin Care Solutions Pvt Ltd. The second panel discussion of the day was on ‘Careers in Retailing’ and was moderated by Prof. (Dr.) Ramki, Marketing Department at KJ SIMSR. This panel consisted of Ms. Pooja Telavane, Pan India Ad, Sales & Marketing Manager at Media Plus, Mr. Pranav Soman, Manager of Operations at Infiniti Retail Ltd, Prof. Ralston Rajvaidya, faculty at Marketing Dept of SIMSR and Mr. Kunal Yadav, Assistant Manager of Brand & Marketing Communication at Pizza Hut. The panel discussed various job profiles and opportunities in Retail Management, higher career options and the pros and cons of working in retail, and the moderator, Prof. Ramki kept a buoyant note to the panel discussion.
The third day had a lighter touch on its events. The alumni of RM batches of KJ SIMSR visited their juniors under the event, ‘Reconnect’. The students from all over the college along with the alumni were entertained by the stand-up comedians, ‘The Laugh Factory’, consisting of Akshay Shinde, Hijab Moosa, Aakash Mehta and Govind Menon. National Retail Summit also hosted a ‘Retail Mela’ within the campus for everyone to shop at, lavishly. They were a huge success among students & faculty and the green benches in front of the college boasted boisterous retail stalls which made the three-day event very lively and colorful.