Chairman's Message

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To all my Retailer / Dukandar friends,

When I look back at my career in retail, I am stunned by the incredible transformation in Indian consumer markets over the past two decades. And for much of that period – 14 years to be precise – India Retail Forum (IRF) has chronicled – and even catalysed – ahead-of-the-curve innovations in consumer experiences and fashioning India’s consumption story, whether it be food, fashion, lifestyle, home and living, leisure and entertainment, retail spaces, and so on … which many of us have been witness to.

As you all know, IRF has been the signature event of India’s retail sector ever since its inception in 2004. It has rightfully garnered its share of international acclaim with the RETAIL WORLD, calling it “the 10 most significant retail events that will shape the future of retail the world over”, and The Associated Press of USA describing it as “the biggest retail industry convention in India”.

At the 14th edition of IRF commences on 19th – 20th September 2017 at The Renaissance Hotel and Convention Centre in Mumbai, I see a great opportunity to build a period of Retail Resurgence with our collective wisdom and collaboration. By honing our best practices, evolving newer formats and delivery models, we can grow the pie of the Modern Indian Retail Industry together and in turn, lead to more profitable and expanding businesses. I believe that, this is the most opportune moment to harness our Passion, and Innovation to create an Immersive and Experiential setting for our Consumers and rekindle the ‘Romance’ in retail.

As retailers, we all know the fundamental tenet: Customer is King. This has never been truer than it is today. We are on the supply side of an enormous opening that modern India today presents. It’s time to make it count, starting with your ideas at IRF 2017. We’re the world’s fastest growing major market, and populated by demanding, aspirational, globally-connected, and ‘living-for-the-now’ consumers. For brand marketers and retailers, as if that were not enough, there is now the added complexity of digital consumption.

That, precisely, is the reason that I am writing to you in my role as the Chairman of India Retail Forum. I take pleasure in inviting you onboard in our efforts to lead by Igniting, Reinforcing and Forging, new ideas and relationships at IRF 2017.

I am very proud to share with you the theme for this year’s event, which aptly asserts the latent power of Indian consumption, promising demographics and retail story:


What the explosive surge of multi-channel, multi-format retail in the world’s fastest growing major economy means for your business.

IRF is truly the only forum which matters in India when it comes to retail leaders sharing game-changing insights, world-class concepts, as the breaking ground for India entry strategy for global players, and as the incubation ground for fruitful multi-million-dollar partnership ideas and alliances.

This annual event will bring together delegates from all nooks and corners of India and the world, 250+ distinguished speakers from across the globe, 100+ exhibitors of next-generation retail innovations, and innumerable opportunities to tap into this high potential market.

I look forward to charting a retail roadmap of the future together, with retail titans and other stakeholders of the industry at IRF on 19th – 20th September at Mumbai.

With best regards,

Govind Shrikhande
Chairman | India Retail Forum
CCA and MD| Shoppers Stop