Reliance Retail Picks Key Executives, All Set for E-Commerce Launch

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail is quietly, but steadily going about planning a much-awaited entry into India’s vastly untapped online marketplace. Reliance’s retail division handles a plethora of goods and services including groceries, clothing, automobile parts, etc. The ₹14,496-crore retail arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been planning the move to the e-commerce space for the last six months, and the work that has gone into it will bear fruit when the online marketplace of India’s largest retail chain is launched officially during the last quarter of 2014.

One of the key areas of focus was the hunt for key executives to be in charge, namely CEO, COO, Heads of Sales & Marketing, Logistics, HR and Finance. These positions have been filled according to sources close to the company. A source was quoted as saying, “Reliance has zeroed in on the top five executives including the CEO for the portal and is currently in the process of negotiating their compensation packages.”

Many analysts are of the opinion that the CEO is likely to be an Indian. This is because it’s vital for the top man or woman to be able to connect with the Indian consumer and their buying behaviour. “An expatriate CEO may be very good at setting up operations, logistics, processes, technology platform and so on, but may not be able to relate to Indian consumer behaviour which differs from consumers in developed economies,” observed the source.

Fashion and Electronics:

The inspiration behind Reliance Retail is Walmart. Reliance retail will launch with two main categories – fashion and lifestyle. The company has tasted considerable success with these two categories – their stores; Reliance Trends and Reliance Digital respectively are spread across multiple cities in India and are growing in number. The company has more than 1,600 stores in over 140 cities. Groceries will be launched as the third category, again an area where the company has built a substantial presence with its Reliance Fresh stores.

In-store kiosks:

Distribution networks are the backbone of any successful operation. As such, with a widely acclaimed distribution network that has been optimized to deliver results, Reliance plans to use its distribution muscle across the country to facilitate delivery and pick-up of its online merchandise to customers. “They are looking to encourage customers to place their orders online and pick-up their orders from the nearest Reliance store. “They are also toying with the idea of setting up in-store kiosks for customers who can opt to order online from within the store itself. “This is because they don’t want to lose any business in the categories that they operate in to other online players,” said another Reliance insider.

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