Even before the ink on Bharati-Wal-Mart joint venture agreement has dried up, business houses have started working overtime to draw plans to meet the imminent challenge.
Yesterday, we had talked about Kishore Biyani owned Future group scaling up its plans to open 100 Big Bazaars even before the first Bharati-Wal-Mart store became operational in the country in 2007. Big Bazaar, as is well known, is a highly successful hypermarket format of the country’s biggest listed retailer Pantaloon Retail. Interestingly, Big Bazaars (Nobody sells cheaper and better!) have also been modelled after the same business philosophy as that of the Wal-Mart (Always Low Prices)
Now comes the news of Subhiksha, another major discount player from Chennai, ramping up its operations to 600 plus stores by March, 2007 and to 1,200 stores by March, 2008. Subhiksha would, as planned earlier, will not only be doubling its strength during the current year, but it will again double its ramped up strength within just one year. The new expansion will entail additional investment of Rs. 300 crore. Presently, 26% of the company’s equity is owned by ICICI Venture Capital.
R. Subramanian promoted Subhiksha began its retailing journey a decade ago with the opening of its first retail store in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, in 1997. R. Subramanian, an IIMA alumnus, believes that “When we do more volumes we get a better deal from the suppliers and if you have to stand out in the crowd and draw customers, you need to give value to the customer.”
Subhiksha, which reported a turnover of Rs 334 crore in 2005-06, hopes to more than double its turnover (between Rs 750-800 crore) during the current year with plans to double it further in the next fiscal (2007-08), as well.