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Retail Beyond Detail

Retail Beyond Detail
The Great Indian Retailing Business

First Edition
  • Gibson G. Vedamani - retail enthusiast and former CEO, Retailers’ Association of India (RAI), Mumbai.

August 2018 | 248 pages | SAGE Response

Retail Beyond Detail is a book that is sure to enlighten the reader of the interesting environment of the retail business in India. The book explains the readiness of the country to make every retail business flourish, provided it is done with an earnest and sincere interest to serve the country’s customers. It motivates those intending to start up retailing and those who are already in the business to do a few things right, at the right value in the right time and in the right locations.

This book celebrates the success strategies of traditional retailers, underscores the ethos of the Indian retail business and unfurls factors responsible for its growth. It provides functional, time-tested inputs for the success of retailing in India by outlining the traditional and modern traits of the business and revealing the 10 secrets of retailing, explained with examples and cases.

Foreword by Harish Bijoor
India’s Unique Retail Evolution
The Significance of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Retailing in India
The Diversity of Indian Consumers and Consumption
Factors Fuelling Retail Growth in India
The Hurdles That Retailers Face in India
FDI in Retailing: Is It Threatening?
Foreign or Indian, Big Retailers Pose the Same Threat
The Changing Face of Retail Communication
Disruptions and Innovations in Indian Retailing
India’s Rapid Adoption of Online Retailing
Be Determined to Win
Blending Intelligence with Determination: Khadim’s, Kolkata

Choose the Right Location
Starting Small: Hatti Food & Beverages Pvt. Ltd (Hatti Kaapi), Bengaluru

Know Your Customers
Understanding Customers Thoroughly: MSH Sarees Pvt. Ltd (Jashn Brand of Retail Stores), Mumbai

Organize Store Space Efficiently
Scaling Up from a Sidewalk Hawking Space: A P Mani & Sons, Mumbai

Stock up the Store for Profit
Right Product Strategies: Patanjali Ayurved Limited, Haridwar

Optimize Store Operations
Ensuring Operational Excellence: Viveks Limited, Chennai

Ensure Financial Discipline
Hard Work and Zero Debt: Sethwala Foods Limted, Mumbai

Adopt Simple Store Systems
Rewrite Rules; Retain Values: Future Group, Mumbai

Promote the Store
Baking Tasty Recipes for Her Consumers: The Sugarr & Spice, Kolkata

Place the Right People in the Store
Choosing the Right People and Practices: Shri Kannan Departmental Store, Coimbatore


‘An interesting, engaging and empowering read that guides one through the fast-evolving retail landscape.’

Rakesh Biyani,
Joint Managing Director, Future Retail Ltd.

‘An interesting, engaging and empowering read that guides one through the fast-evolving retail landscape. Retail Beyond Detail journeys through one of the oldest industries, as it delves deeper into what defines it, makes it and even breaks it. The book— through its quick tips and relatable examples—makes it a perfect “go-to” for those passionate about stepping into the retail industry and understanding it better. The wide gamut of topics conveyed through a mix of story-telling, examples and explanation make this a great resource for anyone who really wants to be a meaningful player within this industry.’

Rakesh Biyani,
Joint Managing Director, Future Retail Ltd

‘Indian retail is always talked about as the next big opportunity. In reality, it continues to be an intriguing and challenging Ali Baba’s cave due to its diversity of customers and products. Gibson’s book is a primer on the DNA of Indian retail, which explains the opportunities and challenges along with success stories of operational excellence. A must-read for all retailers and students to unravel the secret sauce of success, while achieving customer centricity, co-existence and profitability.’

Govind Shrikhande,
Customer Care Associate and Former Managing Director, Shoppers’ Stop Ltd

‘In the context of India, whenever there is reference to retailing, it is common to equate it to modern trade. However, having practised it for several decades, I can say that the core of Indian retailing still remains largely undiscovered. How can small enterprises survive for so many years? My dear friend Gibson has Advance Praise touched the nerve that will be torchlight to seekers of the truth of Indian retailing. Interesting!’ 

K. Radhakrishnan,
Co-founder, Tata

‘This book is a power-packed capsule on retail. It captures the science of modern retailing as practised by big successful retailers in India and across the world and blends them with the unique practices of the small mom and pop retailers that have made them successful. It weaves both these strands into a comprehensive guide to retailing that is full of examples, heart-warming stories and practical ways to implement. Gibson has demystified modern retail for the family retailers and for the large retailers, he has brought out the practices of the family retailers which build unparalleled stickiness and resilience. In doing so, it also makes for a fascinating and lovely read for a consumer and a practitioner.’ 

Neelesh Hundekari,
Partner (Asia Pacific)–Consumer and Retail Practice, A.T. Kearney Ltd, UK (India branch office)

‘The right book at the right time—when Indian retail is at its crossroads.’ 

Hemu Ramaiah,
Former CEO and Founder, Landmark Book Stores; Managing Director, Shop4solutions Pvt. Ltd

‘If an attitude of positivity and genuine friendliness is shown by every shopkeeper, they can get closer to their customers and win them forever. Gibson’s book gives useful pointers to run the retail business in India profitably—whether big or small, or traditional or modern! It’s an interesting and resourceful read, page after page, with case examples and illustrations. I’m sure every reader would be delighted to go through each winning experience in the world of retailing presented in the book!’ 

Rajeev Gopalakrishnan,
President–South Asia, Bata Emerging Markets

‘The awareness levels of most leading brands are very high. So, mass media channels no more play a significant role in brand purchase decisions. The focus now shifts to the retail outlet— the point-of-purchase. The more you understand the retail environment, the better you will succeed in building strong brands. Gibson’s book beacons it all!’ 

Biju Dominic,
CEO and Co-founder, FinalMile Consulting (Behaviour Architects)

‘Dr Gibson is an extremely experienced retail professional, who is also endowed with the gift of extraordinary writing and teaching skills, which enable him to share his knowledge with others. The 10 success factors will help small retail businesses survive and thrive the disruption that will unfold during the next decade.’ 

Krish Iyer,
President and CEO, Walmart India

‘This book is a great read filled with valuable detailed information hand-picked from Indian retail for Indian retail. The curated selection of real-life learning from the best of great traditional and modern retailers adds authenticity to the different concepts explained by Gibson in the journey of the book. Interesting anecdotes from his life experiences add delightful “beyond detail”  nostalgia to the descriptions and add a very important ingredient in retail—the emotional touch. The book gives very useful and hands-on tips derived from intuitive traditional shopkeeping interpreted in the context of today’s competitive, connected world of retail in India. A superb read and a valuable ready reckoner for efficient and effective retailing!’ 

Surender Gnanaolivu,
Senior Consultant–Retail Experience

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ISBN: 9789352807598