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Rajat Chaddha

I am a marketing professional working in the retail sector. Prime areas of interest lies in Retail Strategy, Online 2 Offline, Business Management, Marketing (across channels), Technology & Leadership.

Retail sector: Majority of retailers expect festive season biz to be down by 25 per cent: Report, Retail News, ET Retail. New Delhi: A majority of retailers expect festive season business this year to be down by 25 per cent compared to last year due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic and many of them are considering cancelling or deferring orders due to reduced festive forecasts, according to a report by consultancy firm BluePi Consulting.

retail sector: Majority of retailers expect festive season biz to be down by 25 per cent: Report, Retail News, ET Retail

As per the 'Retail Thought Leadership Survey Report 2020' by BluePi Consulting, 61 per cent of retailers are worried about inventory and wages, and 77 per cent indicated a shift of marketing spend towards consumer loyalty, promotions and discounts. The survey, which was conducted online with organisations with over Rs 500 crore revenue, and took responses of more than 100 CXOs (top management officials), found that "60 per cent expect festive seasons to go down by 25 per cent versus last year". "More than half the retail organisations have seen their forecasts for festive seasons go down 25 per cent or more compared to last year.

Home appliances: Appliances, consumer electronics industry hopeful of robust sales this festive season, Retail News, ET Retail. New Delhi: The appliances and consumer electronics industry is expecting double-digit growth in sales in the upcoming festive season, which will be further supported by absence of domestic helps and people working from home, according to industry body CEAMA.

home appliances: Appliances, consumer electronics industry hopeful of robust sales this festive season, Retail News, ET Retail

The consumer electronics and appliances sector, which has already started on a positive note with Onam in August, saw sales growth in last couple of months owing to pent-up demand, but there is another element playing a role of a key driver, i.e. consumers are looking for a substitute for domestic help amid health safety concerns due to COVID-19. This has already led to a higher demand for appliances such as washing machine, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerators, etc," the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said.

"With Onam, we have kick-started the festive season on a positive note. "l believe this will continue to remain the trend for the upcoming festive season and near future. CX Virtual Summit: Identify the ideal customer and alternative choices they have, says David Avrin, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. In this world of a rapidly evolving business environment, with an even more rapid shift in customer expectations, the winners are those who adapt themselves to the changes and find opportunities in difficult situations.

CX Virtual Summit: Identify the ideal customer and alternative choices they have, says David Avrin, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Addressing this challenge, David Avrin, customer experience and marketing keynote speaker, talked about how a world turned upside down, is creating opportunities to ‘out-serve’ the competitors and create the best possible customer experience. Avrin first highlighted the changes that have occurred globally in the last 6 months. He mentioned the reduced connection and engagement with the customers at the market places, sporting events and other places, during the lockdown period. The acceleration in the advancement in technology during the pandemic is another point that Avrin cared to highlight. He mentioned that this advancement had long been predicted which can now help make consumer engagement work. The lockdown wasn't sudden, we were prepared for the eventuality, says Amul MD RS Sodhi. The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), popularly known as Amul, is a farmer cooperative outfit that took roots in 1946, just before Independence.

The lockdown wasn't sudden, we were prepared for the eventuality, says Amul MD RS Sodhi

It was famously and successfully led by Verghese Kurien, as part of White Revolution. Now Amul is the country’s largest food product marketing outfit, with Rs 52,000 crore in revenue. The brand, amid stiff competition, has endured over the years. It has only consolidated its position amid the pandemic. GCMMF’s MD RS Sodhi speaks to Malini Goyal about steering the company amid Covid-19 and lockdown, and how a cooperative like Amul thinks differently from private companies. Radhakishan Damani: Analysts are suddenly not too sure about Damani’s high-flying DMart, Retail News, ET Retail. NEW DELHI: Billionaire investor Radhakishan Damani’s Avenue Supermarts (DMart) took a hard knock from the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Radhakishan Damani: Analysts are suddenly not too sure about Damani’s high-flying DMart, Retail News, ET Retail

But it is bouncing back fast with 95 per cent of its stores operational now, and sales rising to 80 per cent of pre-Covid levels. In its annual conference call, the company management reiterated its stance of not aggressively foraying into e-commerce and instead focusing on further consolidating its position in the brick & mortar format. But analysts are a worried lot. They feel the fast expansion of deep-pocket Amazon and entry of Reliance Retail’s JioMart in online retail will create significant headwind for DMart going ahead. Avenue runs 220 D-Mart Ready online stores. Some analysts are also skeptical of store openings and demand recovery in the high-margin apparel business in FY21. Avenue Supermarts Ltd.: DMart's ecommerce unit doubles sales but loss widenes too. Mumbai: Avenue Supermarts, which runs the DMart retail chain, saw its online sales more than double during FY20 to Rs 354 crore despite operating only in Mumbai.

Avenue Supermarts Ltd.: DMart's ecommerce unit doubles sales but loss widenes too

Consumer Electronics: It's an early festive start for consumer electronics, smartphones, Retail News, ET Retail. Kolkata: Top manufacturers of smartphones and consumer electronic goods such as LG, Sony, Xiaomi, Vivo, Realme and PanasonicNSE 0.98 % are advancing festive season production plans by a month, and will lift output to last year’s levels or even more.

Consumer Electronics: It's an early festive start for consumer electronics, smartphones, Retail News, ET Retail

Senior executives of these companies said the acceleration in scaling up is due to high demand in the past two months exceeding expectations, and to build up inventory, considering localised lockdowns are likely to continue in some areas, affecting plant operations. India’s nationwide lockdown began on March 25 and was lifted in stages from May onwards, leading to a surge in sales due to pent-up demand. Despite localised shutdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19, the trend seems to be holding up for smartphones and consumer electronics. Consumer Electronics: Summer products give the chills to top consumer durables makers, Retail News, ET Retail. NEW DELHI: This summer is giving the chills to many consumer durables firms with significant summer portfolios, as they stare at depressing earnings in the all-crucial June quarter.

Consumer Electronics: Summer products give the chills to top consumer durables makers, Retail News, ET Retail

A recovery for the makers of small-ticket appliances is visible though, following the relaxation in lockdown, analysts said. Usually, June quarter accounts for nearly 35-40 per cent of annual turnover for summer products of the consumer durables makers. Given the Covid-19 hit on the economy, analysts said the impact was severe for air conditioner makers with shorter sales windows than those ones selling fans, etc. India smartphone market shrinks 48% in Q2: Canalys report. Smartphone shipments in India fell 48 per cent in June quarter this year to 17.3 million units as the country faced an unprecedented shutdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, research firm Canalys said.

India smartphone market shrinks 48% in Q2: Canalys report

In a report, Canalys said smartphone vendors faced a "diabolical situation", dealing with both low supply due to a complete halt in production and diminished demand, as online and offline retailers were prohibited from selling smartphones. For latest updates on Coronavirus outbreak, click here As local production suffered through the early stages of the second quarter, vendors like Xiaomi and Oppo imported smartphones to meet pent-up demand, it added. "It's been a rocky road to recovery for the smartphone market in India. Online Dining: Online payment firms chase restaurant chains for digital dining pie, Technology News, ETtech. India’s top digital payment companies are courting some of the largest restaurant chains in the country to grab a pie of the rapidly digitising dining industry, which has been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Online Dining: Online payment firms chase restaurant chains for digital dining pie, Technology News, ETtech

Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe are upgrading their app interfaces to smoothen in-app order flows for restaurants onboarded on their platforms. They may also tie up with third party logistics providers and give restaurants an option to facilitate home deliveries. The expansion drive comes from a belief that resumption of offline businesses, including dining, could be led by mandatory contactless services. India is currently relaxing its nationwide lockdown in phases. Kerala News: Kerala's remittance rush may be over for good. By Bobby Ghosh “Gone to Gulf.”

That phrase came up a lot in conversations among grown-ups that I overheard as a schoolboy in Kerala during the early 1980s. My father, who managed a lobster-export business in the port of Kochi, was constantly griping about workers who quit on short notice — or none at all — to take up jobs in the Gulf cities of Muscat, Doha or Jeddah. His friends — executives in rubber or coffee plantations, officials in the state-run shipyard or port authority — had the same problem: a constant exodus of workers, most of them “gone to Gulf.”

The jobs there were usually menial, and Dad harrumphed about Keralites giving up a gig at an air-conditioned lobster-processing plant “to get roasted in the desert sun.” But neither Dad nor his friends could compete with the salaries being offered in the Persian Gulf countries. Consumers will pivot to brands that care as loyalties get tested. To be sure, Amul is not the only company tapping into the consumer need for health products. The pandemic has also revived interest in India’s age-old ‘kadha’ recipe made from kitchen spices, which is now being rolled out by Dabur India and Baidyanath Group. Again, the concoction is an immunity booster.

A quick glance through a recent study by customer data analytics firm Hansa Cequity (part of the RK Swamy Hansa group) explains why companies are focusing on health products. Grab Launches GrabPay Card. When officials gave the go-signal for transport network vehicle services (TNVS) like Grab to resume operations after the government-imposed lockdown, one of the new policies is that drivers can no longer accept cash payments.

That means riders can only pay through credit cards or through the company’s e-wallet, GrabPay. The reason, of course, is to lessen contact between driver and passenger and avoid possibly passing on the virus. Also read: Some Branchaes of Victoria Court Are Closing Down Indefinitely The adoption rate for cashless transactions in the Philippines isn’t as fast as some of our neighbors in the region, but it is happening. According to a survey by global credit card company Mastercard, 40 percent of Filipino consumers are now using contactless payments more often in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is probably one of the reasons why Grab partnered with Mastercard to launch a digital version of the GrabPay Card.

Phonepe: Amid pink slips all over, fintech companies a silver lining. BENGALURU: As companies across the travel, hospitality, technology, and transport sectors continue to hand out pink slips to hundreds of employees, there may yet be a silver lining for jobseekers — fintech startups are hiring. Payment and lending startups that ET spoke to have around 1,100 jobs opening up over the next year in product, design, engineering, business development, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the need for fintech professionals will increase by 42% by the end of 2020. Payment services provider PineLabs is looking to hire 150 sales executives with 1-4 years of experience. WhatsApp gets a raw deal from India in payments. By Andy Mukherjee Money is many things, but it’s not fake news.

So why block WhatsApp from spreading it around? India is the laboratory of choice for Western tech firms to test out their mobile payment capabilities so they can be rolled out from Bangladesh to Nigeria. Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg entered the fray two years ago by enabling the popular messaging service WhatsApp to send and receive money in India. RBI: Reserve Bank sets up a Rs.500 crore digital payments infra fund. MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India on Friday announced that it has setup a Rs.500 crore Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIFD) to support and improve the development of digital payments ecosystem in the rural and north east districts of the country.

The central bank has made an initial seed contribution of Rs.250 crore to the PIFD with the other half of the fund expected to be contributed by all card issuing banks and network operators, the central bank said. How Sequoia Capital hit a jackpot with Pine Labs. NPCI: NPCI rolls out AI based chatbot PAi for product awareness, BFSI News, ET BFSI. Big box stores: Pandemic highlights big box stores' ability to pivot, Retail News, ET Retail.

NEW YORK - Late last year, Best Buy began testing curbside pickup at select stores as a way to respond to customer needs. But that was then. The pandemic accelerated the company's plans and what was supposed to take months instead took just 48 hours, with Best Buy rolling out curbside pickup at nearly all of its 1,000 locations in late March as customers sought to minimize contagion by ordering online and pulling up to stores to collect their purchases. Amazon food delivery in India: Amazon launches food delivery service in India, Retail News, ET Retail. Amazon has launched its online food-delivery service called Amazon Food in select pin codes of Bengaluru, at a time when order volumes of the two largest players in the segment - Swiggy and Zomato - are at an all time low due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Free and contactless delivery, hygiene certified restaurants," Amazon told its consumers on the app. Since mid-last year, Amazon has been luring eateries with competitive commissions as a part of its larger plan to build a comprehensive product portfolio - from grocery and food to electronics and home products. Ping An Good Doctor ditches ex-Alibaba veterans. Ping An Good Doctor, China’s largest online healthcare platform, is completely swapping out its senior management. According to reports from Caixin, the move may foreshadow greater integration between Ping An’s patient- and provider-facing platforms. Funding: Lendingkart Technologies raises Rs 319 crore in its ongoing round, Technology News, ETtech. Digital lender Lendingkart Technologies said it has raised Rs 319 crore as part of its ongoing Series D round led by existing investors including Fullerton Financial Holdings, Bertelsmann India Investments, Sistema Asia Fund and IndiaQuotient.

Funding: Khatabook raises $60 million led by B Capital Group, Technology News, ETtech. Digital credit ledger Khatabook has raised $60 million (about Rs 454 crore) in a fresh equity financing round led by B Capital Group, the investment firm founded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. This takes the total funding raised by the two-year old firm to $87 million. E-commerce: Facebook launches 'Shops' to showcase online stores, Technology News, ETtech. ET BE Virtual Series: In-app marketing during the lockdown and beyond, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. Marketers need to rethink the way they design their messaging and the messaging funnel in apps should be customised to that. Measuring brand scores on the right parameters that you would want to judge your brand on is also important.

Time for India retailers to set up dark stores?, Retail News, ET Retail. Retailers: Why open a store? Chinese merchants go live-streaming instead, Retail News, ET Retail. Spotify signs content deals with, private FM channels. inks deal with LG to sell RMB 5 billion in goods via C2M model. Chinese online grocer JD Daojia files for US IPO. Advertising strategy of auto industry: Automakers' advertising and marketing strategy in this age of social distancing, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. Why going 'Touchless' should be the priority for retail post Covid-19 pandemic - Re-Tales by Nitin Chhabra. It's too early to gauge the COVID-19 impact but OOH will bounce back: Industry leaders. Grab makes an impact with ‘contactless’ campaign during Ramadan. Online Payment: 74% Indian consumers to prefer digital payments in 6-9 months: Report, Retail News, ET Retail. Digital Payment: Nearly half of consumers worried about frauds in digital transactions: Study, Retail News, ET Retail.

Magzter. What if a digital virus hits our payment systems? 30 days into coronavirus lockdown: Impact on digital payment transactions. The top eight ways COVID-19 will impact payments. Following COVID-19: How the virus is affecting the mobile payments industry. COVID-19: A Catalyst for Digital Payment Platforms. Digital payments: RBI pushes digital payments in the time of COVID-19, BFSI News, ET BFSI. How COVID-19 Increases Digital Payment Adoption Globally - Business 2 Community. Cashless payments growing faster in India than almost anywhere else — Quartz India. Reliance Jio Seeks To Disrupt India's Fintech Market With PoS Entry.

Tonetag: This Amazon-backed startup makes digital payment possible without Internet. Paytm: Paytm launches All-in-One Android POS for SMEs and merchant partners. Pine Labs plans to deploy 1.5 lakh Android POS devices by next fiscal. POS: This tech may replace swipe machines. TechCrunch fait désormais partie de Verizon Media. Magzter. Strategy for when the going gets tough. Lockdown: Prolonged lockdown begets changed marketing strategies, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. RBI’s call to form payments entity catches India Inc fancy. Apple Retail: Apple offers exclusive brand stores financial support; cos like HUL and ITC extend payment term, Retail News, ET Retail. Coronavirus: Thai retailers find new ways to sell amid coronavirus outbreak, Retail News, ET Retail. View: Abolishing MDR charges is not a great idea. Meituan is selling Huawei smartphones and cosmetics from Sephora. Welcome to the Jungle: How Don Quijote Compensates for the Retail Apocalypse - GLOBIS Insights.

Grocery: Flipkart enters into a partnership with Spencer's Retail to expand essentials business, Retail News, ET Retail. Digital payments: For many, digital payments is the way to buy essentials, Technology News, ETtech. Alipay patents show its importance in China's digital money. Coronavirus impact: Indian Oil ties up with Paytm to avoid cash transactions. Understanding the Economic Shock of Coronavirus. Coronavirus: Hasbro shares soar as CEO cites 'great demand' for toys. 'You can’t do this, we need a new face' - Mayanti Langer reveals that she got rejected for IPL four times in a row. Productivity apps: The rise of self-improvement & productivity apps & hacks. Ananth Narayanan: The medicine man. Make your brand psychologically capturing using the power of ritual. Kfc: KFC owner reports ‘exceptional quarter’, picks up stake in DIL, Retail News, ET Retail. Paytm: In digital India, cash is king, admits Paytm founder, Retail News, ET Retail. Subscribe to read.

Hard Negotiations: Why a Softer Approach Yields Better Outcomes - Knowledge@Wharton. [Tech30] How Mumbai-based CoutLoot is making it easy for traditional offline businesses to go online. Mamaearth Raises 130 Crore Round Led By Sequoia India. Is Paranoia Widespread in Your Firm? You’re Not Alone. Zoomcar may acquire Revv; Hyundai to invest in merged entity. Medlife burns Rs 768 Cr to earn operating revenue of Rs 363 Cr in FY19.

UrbanClap, CRED And Dunzo Among Top 5 Soonicorns Newsmakers Of 2019. Marketing Channels - Marketing channels new eCommerce players should invest in, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. E-commerce in 2019: Year of the livestreamer. Idle Fish used goods platform adds LBS to boost social buying. Fintech Firm ZestMoney Raises $15 Mn from Goldman Sachs – Influencer Marketing - Instagram bans influencers from promoting vaping products, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. Sachin Bansal's fintech plans to ‘prove himself’ after Flipkart. Forced Out of Your Job Mid-career? Here’s How to Prepare - Knowledge@Wharton. Driving e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia with digital advertising.

Pinduoduo says it is not joining the fray with livestreams, just helping sellers. YES Bank Launches India's 1st E-Marketplace Of Innovative Solutions Co-created Startups. Data Protection - What we know so far about Personal Data Protection bill which proposes up to Rs 15 crore penalty for data misuse, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity. Udaan spent Rs 363 Cr to earn Rs 12 Cr in operating revenue during FY19. Future group: Future to Shutter 140 Easyday Stores, Retail News, ET Retail. Netflix’s Original Content Strategy Is Failing. Puma: Puma opens first experience store in Bengaluru, second globally after New York, Retail News, ET Retail. Nike: Nike says bye to selling on Amazon, Retail News, ET Retail. Uber eats: Uber Eats focusses on aggressive expansion in India, Retail News, ET Retail. Jumbotail: Jumbotail, NinjaCart raise more as B2B Ecomm finds love, Retail News, ET Retail. TechNode: Pinduoduo’s growth, by the numbers - WPIC Marketing + Technologies.

Can new retail beat old-fashioned snack shops?