The second day at the World Retail Congress in Barcelona saw a lot of focus on the world’s emerging retail markets. The conference heard debates on the potential – and challenges – of operating in markets including the so-called “big four” – Brazil, Russia, India and China. Here is a round-up of the key quotes from today’s (10 April) session.
“In mature markets, consumers are generally jaded. It takes a lot to tickle them. Emerging markets, by contrast are adding an avalanche of new, first-time consumers” – Arving Singhal, chairman, Technopak
“The impact of Russia, India and China is more than just their mere size. They are late-comers to the global consumer market and they are playing catch-up and therefore their impact is higher in terms of their needs” – Dr William Fung, group MD, Li & Fung
“In Russia, India and China, if companies are not growing at 30%, they are losing market share – that is the extent of the growth” – Fung
“I want to underline that access to the Brazilian market is very open. In Brazil, we don’t have such regulatory restrictions. We are trying to make the rules more relaxed. The Brazilian government is promoting a business environment in the country” – Ivan Ramalho, trade minister, Brazilian government
“The minister from Brazil talked about 5% [GDP] growth. In terms of a developed economy, 5% is very good but in China, India and Russia, you are talking about 8-10%. This is really rapid growth, which has allowed the wealth to perculate down, leading to the creation of the middle class” – Fung
“There is a gold rush in Indian retailing – good, bad or indifferent, that’s where it is heading to” – Rajan Bharti Mittal, MD, Bharti Enterprises
“The concept of China as the world’s factory is well-established; we are now going on to China as potentially the world’s largest consumer market” – Fung
“There are a lot of problems and issues in these markets. One may get the impression that all these emerging markets are the same; they are actually very different” – Gordon Campbell, MD, Spar International
“You will see opposition [to organised retail] diluted as the Indian political leadership sees the fruits of success of and that it benefits the people at large” – Mittal
“I don’t think we should ignore the fact that there are other countries on the move – just to name three, there are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Vietnam” – Campbell