Retail Companies should build Robust Supply Chain Model which can handle any Disruption & Contingency

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New Delhi: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organized an Interactive Webinar on Reshaping Retail with AI: Direct to Customer Strategy Post-COVID -19.

Mr. Ashutosh Sharma, Director & Country Head – Sales, Yellow Messenger while moderating the webinar, structured the discussion on the specific aspects of technology shift and its implications on the Retail Industry.

In his deliberation, he highlighted how direct to consumer technologies are shaping in the time of pandemic which has become a new normal. Not only the enterprises but SME’s are adopting technological interventions for customer delivery and satisfaction in which AI is playing a pivotal role.

While discussing on How to Enable the Direct to Consumer model – common tech, Initiatives, and technologies for fast and effective Transitions, Mr. Sanjay Singhal, Chief Operating Officer – Dairy & Beverages ITC Limited, shared FMCG sector started investing in E-Commerce back 4-5 years but during Pandemic they have faced unique challenges due to market disruption and hampered supply chain as companies do not have sufficient feet on the ground to fulfill the household demands, consumer behaviour has shifted to online shopping ,even for grocery requirements consumers are largely depending on online deliveries.

He highlighted the need for a robust customer engagement strategy whereby a content driven engagement platform along with the core product helps increase sales and demand of the products, for example, FMCG Food items bundled with recipes has helped ITC to increase the demand of its products.

Mr. Sanjay Singhal while sharing his thoughts on the digital and omni-channel marketing said that during COVID times the consumer is not experimenting with his preferences and only purchasing on the need basis with minimum exposure to Mom & Pop stores.

Talking about the effectiveness of the strategy of D2C for Enterprises and SME’s, Mr. Singhal shared that lockdown has enabled SME’s to reap maximum benefits owing to the local reach and better penetration of the supply chain in the local market.

Mr. Kunal Verma, Operations Director, Oriflame, while deliberating on the user engagement using AI automation spoke about how it has changed and shaped the customer service experience citing an example of how in the cosmetic industry Oriflame Inc is offering a customized experience by creating a unique skin profiling of the end-user and recommending them the intended product which is helping in customer acquisition and strengthen the last-mile delivery,

While discussing the brand transitioning to Direct to Consumer Mr. Verma, suggested that companies should adopt a step-wise transition model starting with internal evaluation, then financial evaluation, and then marketing evaluation, also he suggested that companies should start taking into account the influencers and bloggers while marketing their products.

Mr. Manoj Tomer, Manager System Implementation, Parle – G ltd, while expressing his views suggested that Operational excellence in the process automation has helped Parle to sail through the time of Pandemic. He also suggested that companies should build a robust supply chain model that can handle any disruption and contingency.

Mr. Pradeep Karambelkar, Chairman, Madhya Pradesh Chapter, PHDCCI highlighted the different consumer behaviour at different geo-localities he said that in two and three-tier cities people are still comfortable with mom and pop stores as the pandemic has not penetrated in these cities.

He said that Information technology will rule in the near future but, SME’s sector is on the learning curve right now, COVID-19 has changed consumer behaviour and also affecting business transaction models.

Mr. Saket Dalmia, Chairman, Retail Committee, while presenting his opening remarks highlighted that the need of the hour is how to efficiently perform customer acquisition, how to persuade customers to buy, and, last but not least encourage businesses to enhance technology transformation in the time of disruption.

Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in his concluding remarks on the paradigm shift in the consumer preferences during these times of the pandemic. The Program was attended by almost 100 participants Pan-India and was supported by Yellow Messenger.

Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Principal Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while welcoming the eminent speakers and the august gathering deliberated on how in the time of pandemic technology is shaping the consumer behaviour and altering the business transactions around us.

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