Anand Sridharan writes:
Retail in India is an extremely interesting area, where companies are still experimenting to get the right mix of store formats and categories. While Bessemer still cannot invest in Indian retailers due to FDI restrictions, I follow the sector quite closely out of personal interest. Large retailers, with chains of stores following similar formats, are just beginning to make their presence felt and Indias largest retailer is still short of $500 million in revenue.
I am long on Subiksha and view their format to be best suited to the Indian market for food & grocery retail. Their approach combines the local low-overhead front-end of Indian kirana shops with the efficient supply chain of a large retailer. Subikshas shops are no-frills (sub-500 sq ft, non-airconditioned), do not allow consumers to walk through the store to browse products (no aisles no wasted area) and well distributed (they aim to have a store within 1 kilometer of any household I suspect they are close to this target in many parts of Chennai).