Indian retailers spending big on tech

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: Growth in the Indian retail sector has been phenomenal, says Eddie Chandhok, president, Global Delivery Organisation, Infogain. The retail solutions and Outsourced Product Development (OPD) company recently bagged a couple of deals with popular Indian retailers for the implementation of end-to-end Orcale suite of retail products.
The 1,000+ strong Infogain has doubled its headcount in retail in the last six to eight months to cater to the growing interest in retail solutions among Indian retailers.

“The business group in India has doubled in the last six to eight months. The team has grown from zero to 100 consultants,” said Chandok, speaking to CIOL.

Although 97 percent of the retail sector belongs to the unorganized category, it’s the 3 percent of high-end retailers that are driving technology adoption.

Driven by a booming economy and an increased spending capacity of the Indian middle class, retail companies are looking to expand their businesses and are turning to technology to help meet their business goals.

“They (retail companies) were trying to develop software themselves—that scenario has changed. Most of the companies have pan India aspirations, so local products are not able to do the job,” says Chandok.

The inability to generate the right analytics and acceptance of m-cards/loyalty cards were some of the challenges that are driving companies to adopt end-to end solutions, he says.

According to him, while earlier companies were spending money on real estate and branding, they are now more willing to spend on strengthening the technology backbone. “Now, they want world-class solutions that are tried and tested and used by companies overseas,” he says.

Speaking of overseas, competition from retail giants like Walmart and Tesco could also be a reason Indian companies are opting for the technology edge. However, as far as global aspirations are concerned, Indian retail companies have a long way to go--at least three to five years, before they are able to compete on a global scale, says Chandok.