India has to have a policy that allows foreign players as well as the local players to grow, allowing local businesses to learn the best practices, said retail market expert Venkatesh Shankar.
Speaking on the sidelines of Guru Speak 2013-14, a seminar organised by IIM Calcutta Alumni Association, Chennai chapter, Shankar, Coleman Chair Professor in marketing, said, "Indian retail has to become more modernised. To modernise, you need to have not only regulations but also infrastructure. India has to have a policy that allows foreign players as well as the local players to grow and learn from the foreign players. Unless they collaborate they cannot learn the best practices."
The Indian retail market, which is currently at around $550 billion, is expected to reach a $1 trillion in the next few years.
He said online market in India is evolving very slowly because of low penetration of internet and mobile. The country's advantage is its demographic dividend. Around 50 per cent of Indians are under 25 and 70 per cent of them are under 35.
Thus, there is close to 900 million customers potentially digitally very savvy. There are some good opportunities online, he added.Infrastructure for transportation and broadband penetration is very important, as the retailer may not be able to deliver quickly due to the tier II, III customers in an inadequate infrastructure set up, he said.