IIM Amritsar has successfully conducted its third annual Operations and Strategy Conclave, Sankshetra 3.0 on December 15, 2018. The event saw participation of business leaders from the domains of Operations and Strategy. The conclave constituted two panels which discussed the challenges and the trends of modern retail and the multifarious business strategies employed in protectionist trends.

The panel for Operations first sat down to discuss on ‘Retail 3.0: Operational Efficiency in Modern Retail’. The eminent panelists in the Operations discussion were Mr. Dharmendra Matai, CEO – Alisha Retail Pvt Ltd, Mr. Subhas C Basu, Ex COO – Bombay Dyeing, Mr. Gourav Agarwal, Head – Business Operations, PayTm, Mr. Dhaval Raja, Head – Retail Operations, Raymond Apparel Ltd., Mr. Amantran Ghosh, Head – Category Operations, Nestle.

IIM Amritsar

The panel discussed about the concepts of Block Chain, Value Chain and other emerging trends in Retail. The panel discussed about the importance of the convergence of offline and online to bring Retail 3.0. The panel discussed about the different types of Retail and their relative strengths and weaknesses. The panel also discussed the channel management – online, offline; organised, unorganised.

The panel highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between offline and online, as there is a greater gap between the internet penetration and the actual sales made. The panel also elucidated the role of efficiency and that it is to be coupled with the shopper experience which includes throughput, cost, and inventory to give the modern retail more strength. The panel also illuminated the importance of the role of channel and the role of SKU in channels to better reassign and manage the channels, enhance the value promised and delivered to the customer and finally increase the shopper and the shopping intensity by the proper application of tools like Supply Chain, Information Technology and Manufacturing. Thus Retail 3.0 is strongly related to relevancy of the offering, differentiation, role of channel and the increased operational efficiency.

The panel for Strategy discussed on ‘Business Strategies in the face of Protectionism’. The eminent panelists included Mr. Rajeev Singh, COO – GBS, Karvy Fintech, Mr. Mohit Agrawal, Vice President, Barclays, Mr. Narinder Sethi, Global Head, Tech Mahindra and Mrs. Smita Negi, Global Senior Director, Stryker.

The panel maintained that the protectionist environment lags the competitiveness of the company and the overall economy. The policies also poses a serious threat to slow down the innovation of the country. Thus, it is imperative that the companies banks upon the emerging trends and reach to more people in the existing and the new markets. The panel also emphasised on respecting the local sentiment and increase the local responsiveness of the offerings and the operations while operating and serving a diverse market. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring the local talent for better competitive market and for protectionism.

The panel also focussed that in such political, economic and to an extent social conditions, where constraints could act as a potential bottleneck, organisations have to come up with sustainable long term strategies. Short term pandering might help in fuelling the economies but in a longer run, they may seriously limit the capabilities of a company.

The panel also focussed on the aspect of the data and how data has become a global currency. Thus, it is important for the data to flow smoothly that could pervade even borders and improve commerce. Importance of data, maintaining and ensuring its privacy has become an important issue and though it is a complex problem as the government regulations are lax to work on the data usage issues, it is still relevant to work on such issues as in a world strongly bound by geographical and geopolitical constraints, data might be the only commodity to help companies reach their goals.

The conclave concluded with a thanking note, memento distribution and special gestures of appreciation from the faculty and students of IIM Amritsar.


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