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Indian Retail Sector Is Projected To Touch Us$ 700 Billion By 2020: FICCI-Deloitte Report

Food Processing Minister calls for Govt-industry synergy to eliminate food wastage

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A need for greater synergy between the government and the food industry to channelize efforts to reduce food wastage in the country and raise the quality and quantum of processed food, which is currently reckoned at 10% of farm produce. At the FICCI Massmerize 2017 conference, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, urged the food processing industry to cash in on the advantages offered by mega food parks, all 42 of which will become functional in the next three months.

Kaur said that the food processing sector that churns out 70% of the food products retailed in the country was one of the largest job generating industry and an important instrument in stabilizing food processes. The government, she said, had taken several steps to reduce food wastage, the latest reform being the roll out of the GST which will remove roadblocks to transportation of food, including perishables.

The minister invited retailers, FMCG and e-commerce players to participate in large numbers at the World Food India exposition slated to be held from November 3-5 this year at the India Gate lawns in New Delhi. Industry professionals, representing the entire food supply chain, state governments and experts from 30 countries will have an opportunity to interact with top business leaders, government officials and delegates at the three day event. A highlight of the exposition would be a vibrant ‘Food Street’ where food product manufacturers from Indian and abroad would be able to test-market their wares and know at first-hand whether their products appealed to the Indian palate or not.

She released the FICCI– Deloitte report ‘KONNECTED to Consumers’ on the retail, FMCG & e commerce sectors in India. According to the report, the consumer industry is one of the most dynamic and amongst the fastest growing industries in India. Consumer retail forms an integral part of the industry with a current estimated size of more than Rs 45 trillion. It is further expected to witness a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 10% in the period 2016-21 to reach a size of Rs 85 trillion by 2021. Thus, it plays a pivotal role in the growth story of Indian economy through noteworthy contribution towards the national GDP, attracting significant foreign investments and technologies, and generating vast employment opportunities.

According to the data-intensive report, India will become the fifth largest consumer market in the world by 2030. Such optimism is well founded and makes India attractive to Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) firms and retailers, but challenges remain. Amongst the key challenges are poor basic infrastructure, a complex multi-layer regulatory and taxation regime.

Al. Rajwani, MD & CEO, P&G India, who was at the conference said that the retail industry was today driven by mega trends such as the rise of the individual, fall of the household in the choice of brands and the convenience of the customer. He said in India there was room for all, big or small retailers and called upon the industry to press for responsible regulation, commitment to sustainability, CSR, consumer and employee safety and inclusion of the people.

The delegates present said that the need of the hour was charting a long term sustainable growth path and good quality retail. “The most important aspect of retail today, was that growth was not to the exclusion of the small player. The Indian market was huge and there should be no fear of replacement of the small by the big, he pointed out. He called for systematic and pragmatic framing and implementation of consumer protection laws,” said Jamshed Daboo, MD. Trent.

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