Major Retail Industries Turned to IT Players in India for Faster Growth

Its not just the Shoppers Stops and Pantaloons, the direct or indirect entries of the likes of Walmarts or Tescos promise to transform the Indian retail scene once and forever. The unorganized Indian retail market is graduating from the mom-and-pop neighborhood kirana stores to the swanky, state-of-the-art hypermarkets and neon-lit shopping malls. The customer is the king here, and delivering superior shopping experience is the only way to capture the market. And like any other industry observer would tell, technology is the key differentiators driving the retail revolution in India.The following is the recent finding of Dataquest-IDC joint survey of Indian IT industry:

  • The average IT spending grew by 27% in India. Retail leads the survery in terms of growth at 43% because of the entry of new players and scaling up by the established players from back-end to advanced application software
  • Major Indian enterprises took on outsourcing like never before, the services market is expected to go up from 24.9% in 2007-08 to 26.5% in 2008-09

In the business-specific software, retail at 49% emerges as the clear leader. Agrees Anup Mandal, CIO, India Today Group, when it comes to business specific software, we have to keep in mind that retail has arrived just a few years back. Initially, the retail players used to have home-grown applications but now all the big players of packaged applications have specific software for retail, and this is very expensive. Moreover, the retail players had just basic back-end in place 5-10 years ago but are now scaling up with the entry of new players. Infrastructure investment along with application investment will be there. The established players are moving from back-end applications to vertical applications. And, not surprisingly, since the retail sector is gradually making the shift from mom-and-pop stores to more organized retailing.

In FY 2007-08, retail was at the bottom of IT spending when it came to enterprise-wide IT infrastructure but when it came to business-specific software, retail led with 49% indicating that retail store management applications and retail end-to-end solutions were in demand.

Source: Dataquest, India

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