Women in brightly coloured saris, men wearing colourful turbans, meticulously decorated elephants, holy cows, hot spices and majestic palaces: welcome to India, a country characterised by diversity and opposites. India is not only a cultural nation rich in tradition, it is also a rising economic power and a rapidly growing high-tech hub. The implications of this clash are also noticed in the retail sector.
Everything for the daily needs
Where yoga and Ayurveda are at home, there is a long tradition in retail. The Kirana Stores, little corner shops, are like sand on the sea in India. One of the roughly 12 million neighbourhood corner shops can be found at virtually any street corner. At just 30 to 40 square metres, they correspond to the size of a typical German kiosk, but account for around 95 percent of revenues in the Indian food retail market.
Many Kirana shops are family-owned businesses that are passed down from one generation to the next.
Kiranas play an important role in the daily life of Indians. Here they get everything for their daily needs.The Kirana shops’ customers come from the immediate neighbourhood, which means that the owner-operators know their customers from heart. Basically everyone knows each other. But the technological progress does not stop short of these traditional shops. Online shopping and the many competing shops opening up in the cities are a challenge for the owners of these shops.
Fit for the digital future
With a population of 1.3 billion people, the Indian market holds great potential for online commerce. By 2017, 100 million Indian consumers were already buying their goods online. At the same time, cheap mobile phones and mobile phone contracts further drive the exponential growth of online shopping in India. Shopping platforms are fighting for every single customer by offering massive discounts.