Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail

The tragic debacle around CCD’s debt-ridden founder may be indicative of a larger malaise

  • Rentals can eat away almost 15-20% of the overall revenue an Indian coffee shop generates
  • Corresponding costs in countries like the US is just around 5-6%
  • many indigenous coffee shops are unable to survive more than 18 months into the business

From the early morning dose to business deals closed over a cup of java, coffee keeps us charged; the millennial coworking culture is often incubated and based in cafés. As a consequence, there has been a stupendous rise in the number of coffee chains and concept bistros across the country.

It all started with Café Coffee Day – popularly known as CCD – which gave the country its first coffee shop way back in 1995, long before global giants arrived.

Today, places like Café Coffee Day are no longer just hangouts or meeting joints, and certainly not just about coffee. They offer a unique ambiance, music and free Wi-fi to youngsters and entrepreneurs alike.

Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail 

The advent of ecommerce in India ‘smartly’ altered the shopping habits of Indian netizens. Anything and everything – from groceries to apparel to electronics etc. – is now just a click away.

For a while, it appeared that ‘couch potato shopping’ was gaining prominence and disrupting the entire brick-and-mortar business. It now emerges that this has not really happened.

Despite causing disruptions, the ‘ecommerce effect’ was not enough to have a significant and lasting impact on the conventional retail formats.

For a while, online giants like Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart were basking in the rising success of the effervescent Indian ecommerce business arena. They were manoeuvring strategies to penetrate deeper into newer markets by way of discounts for their customers.

And then, the Government pulled out a wild card – and thereby threw a major spanner in the works – with the new ecommerce policy.

It came as a shock for the affected entities, including consumers who were buried deep in the world of cash-backs and deep discounts. However, thanks to the new policy, traditional retailers now had a more level playing field and could regain a significant share of their brick-and-mortar stores.

  • Cities that saw maximum retail growth in 2018 included MMR, NCR, Bengaluru and Kolkata
  • PE investment inflow in the segment grew 54% in H1 2018
  • 32 new malls spanning nearly 13.5 million sq. ft. is slated to be operational in 2019

Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail

Besides commercial office spaces, the retail sector also emerged as one of the most vibrant and fast-paced real estate sectors in India in 2018.

Among the major policy overhauls, the Government further liberalized FDI policies early in the year. These policy interventions repositioned the Indian retail sector on the global map of investments, attracting a large number of global retailers into India and further fuelling the growth of organized retail in the country.

The Government’s decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail and 100% FDI in single-brand retail under the automatic route was a definite crowd-pleaser that attracted giants like Walmart to make forays into the country.

The Government is now mulling to further tweak norms for retail trade – similar to SEZs – and enacting a 365-days working policy to help India climb higher on the Ease of Doing Business index among 190 countries.