It was a a proud moment for nascent, organised retail industry of India to have been recognised when one of its visionary leaders Kishore Biyani, CEO & MD, Pantaloon Retail, was conferred the International Retailer of the Year award by the National Retail Federation (NRF) at the 96th annual convention of in New York, on 16th January, 2007.
This honour, which is the first for any Indian, is especially significant because the US National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world’s largest retail trade association, which represents combined annual members’ turnover of US$ 4.5 trillion.
Explaining the reasons influencing the Federation’s choice this year, Karen Knobloch, Senior VP, NRF said: Pantaloon is interesting because it is very agile; focused on giving what customers want and offers whatever format is needed, from food to electronics to high fashion apparel. And they really are a good example to all the other retailers who come here to learn.
“I think what we have to learn from the US is how consumption can drive our economic growth,” said Pantaloon Retail MD Kishore Biyani adding that the US market is all about thinking big in terms of number of stores, technology and consumerism.
This award has been conferred when the world’s biggest American retailers like “Wal-Mart” have already stitched up necessary agreements, while others like “Starbucks” and “Costco Wholesale” are waiting in wings to make their foray into the world’s second most populous as well as the world’s fastest growing market.