The future of retail: Renuka Jagtiani


January 11, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair

The pandemic has created a new set of rules for the survival and revival of the retail industry. However, some retail leaders led by example during this tumultuous year to show the rest of the industry how it’s done. Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman & CEO of Landmark Group, is one such leader who stepped up to work with her staff for her customers using all the technology that was at her disposal – but this process started much much earlier.

“We started investing in e-commerce way back in 2012. The first big omni event we organised was White Wednesday in November last year. We had Saudi, we opened Kuwait and Qatar and we started our own fulfilment. It’s been a big shift but we couldn’t have shifted if we hadn’t started the journey earlier,” she said.

Speaking of how she and her team dealt with the unprecedented challenges of 2020, she said, “The one thing that doesn’t change is how you look at priorities. Ultimately, in this business, it is all about the customer – investing in the customer through the omni journey, via our stores, and also reaching out to them through our loyalty programmes. The customer’s expectations have changed dramatically and the way we approach them should be far more creative and personalised. Today, we are investing significantly in customer data and analytics.”

However, while the customer is a very important aspect of the retail experience there are other elements that Jagtiani chose to prioritise too such as product, value, and their own staff. “COVID-19 has taught us that what sustains the retail sector in general, and Landmark Group in particular, is our focus on product and value. Each business of ours has to build a value proposition and demonstrate a strong and innovative product focus. You can’t do that without your team as the business is about attracting and retaining talent.”

“We set up a steering committee at the Board level to look at cashflow and treasury, inventory and buying, and overall costs incurred. We couldn’t have stayed connected with people without leveraging technology. Every bit of connectivity has made a difference and helped bring people together,” she concluded.

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