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May 13, 2006

Details of Two Retail Giants-in-the-Making

Business Today has a good article titled "Biyani Vs Ambani" on the retailing plans of Pantaloon's Kishore Biyani, which has a head start, and Reliance's Anil Ambani, which is planning a rollout on a massive scale.

Over seven days in January, Kishore Biyani, the 44-year-old maverick Chairman of the Pantaloon Group of companies, was closeted in meetings with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries...the agenda was how Pantaloon and Reliance could carve out their own huge spaces in the retail sector, avoid head-on competition, and thereby jointly take on the multinational retail giants once they get the green signal to set up shop in India...A week down the line, however, sources in the know reveal the dialogue broke down abruptly, and the proposed non-compete clauses never saw the light of day.


THE SCALE OF THINGS TO COME


PANTALOON RETAIL
INVESTMENT PLANNED
Rs 500 crore by 2006-07
SALES TURNOVER
Rs 10,000 crore by 2010
RETAIL SPACE
10 million sq. ft by 2008
STORES
99 stores in 2005-06
EMPLOYEE STRENGTH
100,000 by 2010

RELIANCE RETAIL
INVESTMENT PLANNED
Initial investment of Rs 3,375 crore, scale up to Rs 15,000 crore by 2007-08
SALES TURNOVER
Rs 90,000 crore by 2010
RETAIL SPACE
Not available
STORES
1,575 by March 2007
EMPLOYEE STRENGTH
500,000 by March 2007

Rather than take on the Reliance might head on, Biyani is seeking to build size and scale beyond conventional retail, across the entire consumer space. This involves forays into an assortment of formats and businesses, right from mobile phones and storage products to health, beauty and fitness products, from pharmacies and salons to furniture and furnishings, consumer durables and electronics, and from gold and jewellery and footwear to the entire gamut of financial products. The objective is clear: To capture not just a share of the consumer's wallet, but virtually the entire wallet, not just in terms of consumption, but even savings (which is why Biyani has even bagged a licence for a non-banking finance company). The plan: To meet the entire family's need under one roof. The group objective these days is: "We will provide Everything, Everywhere, Every time to every Indian customer in the most profitable manner."

BIYANI'S CONGLOMERATE IN THE MAKING
He's calling it the Future Group, which will have six business pillars.

Future Retail
All the retail lines of business like food, fashion and home will come under this vertical

Future Brand
Custodian of all the present and future brands that are either developed or acquired by the group

Future Space
Will have a presence in property and mall management

Future Capital
Will provide consumer credit and micro finance services, including marketing of MFs and insurance policies, and management of real estate and consumer fund

Future Media
Will focus on revenue generation through effective selling of retail media spaces

Future Logistic
To drive efficiencies across businesses via better storage and distribution
Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence India, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.