Sep 29, 2020

A Different Style of Learning in Indian Retail

We need to learn something unique about Indian Grocery Retail but before that, we should adopt a few things which will help us to understand it deeply. How it will happen? What kind of information is needed for this? And how do we understand it in the context of the Indian retail sector? All such questions will be part of this principle. Let's start with three steps:,

1. Learn

2. Unlearn

3. Relearn

“Alvin Toffler is credited with saying: "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who can read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn."

 A stage of Learn:

Why do we need to go through the scanner of this principle described by Alvin Toffler? As human beings, we are living in a cage where we believe that things are created by "I", controlled by "I" and that my mind is the powerhouse of all the thoughts that I am creating, describing, and creating. and finally executing. But, why is there a fight between thoughts, because we receive those thoughts from our conscious mind which always give us some great importance in terms of the things around us, the happenings around us and our physical relationships with people? draw towards intimacy.

The cage around us is so powerful that it does not allow us to move towards even the most accessible things i.e. our knowledge that blocks our subconscious mind and the waves flowing through it, and this is because we are the most learned, we are the most experienced and we will never allow others to correct our ideas or we need to adopt such ideas. This situation makes us like a frog (I) who lived almost his life in a borewell. For that poor Frog, the whole universe is a well, the walls of his sleep, some small creatures around him, the water, and some disturbance of the man who used to suck water for drinking or irrigation in his fields. 

One day a crow saw this frog sunbathing on a large dry leaf floating on the water. He said to the frog, why doesn't he want to come out of this well and see the beautiful world outside it. But, the frog starts to give a different level of knowledge that he is living in a big universe, where he has lots of resources and he has things to make his life better, so what will happen outside your world. The crow promises him that he will see the outside world once and if he does not like it then he can come again to his place. Finally, he gave his consent and came out of the well. When he came out of the Well it was a different experience for him.

This is our learned stage. The limitation of knowledge gives it a mental barrier. We live with it and think we're right, we're doing the right thing, and that our creation is the greatest thought in the world. But, again out of the world, there is much to learn.

A stage of Unlearn:

Start letting go of things that can hinder your growth. Let it melt your thoughts because the journey always starts with an idea. Sometimes we need to forget what we saw in a different world. It is good to have an idea for the better but a sequence needs to be set for its execution. India is almost 50 years behind the US in terms of development and technology and 30 years behind Dubai, Singapore. Even China is ahead of us on many platforms.

If you are looking to bring some new ideas which you have seen working well in US, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, it does not mean that these ideas will work and give similar results in India. Before adopting those ideas and starting working on them, evaluate whether, if the idea is "within" the time or it requires hours, otherwise you will be out of the market like many first movers are now in different sectors. I am experiencing.

Unlearned is a state of personal trait that adapts you to the present level of circumstances, it helps you to see the new world through new glasses.

Unlearning is not meant to remove old memories, experiences, expertise, rather it is mostly a kind of practical work which needs to be changed first. Our active/conscious mind always makes itself the hero, which is where the effect needs to be seen. Is it affecting his personal life or professional? If we are talking about working in an organization then both are important. These represent our traits, behavior, body language, and the way we respond to others.

Give up your bad habits first, and if you're a retail professional, there are a few things you need to forget after reading this. A lot of things are changing in the Indian retail sector where old market knowledge will not work and with this dynamic movement, you need to create a dynamic moment with some different learning styles.

A stage of Re-learning

Now, we will talk about "re-learn". Will the question arise? This is a wise question; Why should we waste our time learning new things. Why should we learn again? We are so knowledgeable, experienced, powerful, and influential, why do we go to erase our years of hardship? We already know more than others.

This is our mind block, like a frog, as long as he was in the borewell, he was the king and emperor of his kingdom, but what happened when he came out of the well. Why had he hidden behind a bush and started thinking about this new world? Here we need to take off those old clothes that are being tailored all around us. Learning is not purely with experience and knowledge, it can be your habits, behaviour, adaptability, line of business, and different method of behaviour. So, how are you going to learn those things? So, start learning about it again here and slowly grow and reach your goal. That is why I am sure that the frog will never return to its old home now.

The above three traits belong to human behavior, it has nothing to do with the company’s strategy, concept, plan, execution, etc. but it will help make those robust once go through thrice through a process.

Let's talk about the relevance of these three words in the Retail segment


  • Market
  • Products
  • Distribution Channel
  • Marketing & Awareness
  • Customer Preference

So far we have learned how to spread the market in retail and have the kind of depth that is needed. In our early days till 2005, we were in a state of the mindset that the consumer is a secondary being taken care of by the retailers. Therefore, the main focus was on the middle channel or the connector between brands and consumers i.e. retailers. Everything was planned to take into account their presence in the ecosystem, hence widely known as the general business (GT) market stream. There, we learned how primary sales and secondary sales work.

The go-to-market approach was a specialist job and was a bit lengthy and had to be planned from scratch to the sky in such a way that it gives a wide array of benefits in the long run. The focus remains to recruit distributors in the focus market, followed by the appointment of Area Sales Managers, Sales Officers, and Sales Representatives as the direct working force or coordinators. There was a huge investment of money and time to shape the distribution network. Years of hardship make a product brand in a struggling way.

C&F was a chain of Super Stockiest, Distributors, and Dealer physical channels which go completely on track by the brand owner i.e. manufacturer through the channel at an eye-catching and hard-working pace.

Here we learned how ATL/BTL works in terms of marketing and creating awareness. Print media and electronic media were the strongest at that time. Many celebrities from Bollywood, Tollywood, and Hollywood, Cricket, etc. create an environment in the ecosystem and television was the main medium of advertisement.

 There was no wide range of products in the entire retail ecosystem, so things were managed by a single shopkeeper at his store and it was like over-the-counter (OTC) from where the retailer had control over the goods.

 Physical stores, single format and with less priority of service but had product priority. Retail 1.0, Retail 2.0 and Retail. 3.0

Most of the retail professionals have such rich experience and based on their confidence they like to go with their experience but if we do not keep pace with the ongoing development in the ecosystem and we do not follow the new practices What will be the take away for them? So sometimes old tyrants find themselves with a kind of mental block.

Experience counts, here I have no problem picking it up with new developments, but there is a variety of new terminology used by the new retail professional, so here's what we need. If we are to adjust to the new blood and work in unison, we must start dropping some practical things from the past habits.


Start learning a few things, like changing your perspective. It is one of the most common traits that enhance or hinder our personality and profession. What do we need to change? We need to change our way of thinking which should be positive, progressive, passionate and in the right way. Adaptability is the key to building harmony with your team members.

Your experience is there to give you the right tools, teach you how to be on the right track, make you perfect, and help you speed up your execution, but it requires a new kind of knowledge that is a part of the ecosystem. will provide you.

A very important step is to remove various brain blockages and allow your brain to adapt to new things.

Example: The startup ecosystem was not a new business phenomenon, nor a new kind of entrepreneurship, so why is it so different from the old type of business setup. There are angels, seeds, VCs and PEs to support why foreign investors invest. where were they before?

They were in old times but they have a different look, different style but here startups bring new ideas, investors are investing in these ideas but different types of execution plan, system and processes made it fast paced Is. Which we need to learn but for that we have to leave the old fashioned way of doing business. Time is running out fast, so with this kind of business here, everyone wants to get out fast. They talk about getting 10x return from burning millions of money, maybe a wise way but it is in the ecosystem. 

What to Unlearn: You need to unlearn your few mindsets:

1. Are retailers brand conscious?

2. Retailer's mindset is typical and does not accept change

3. Retail has limitations on IT tools and will not use them for business growth.

4. Distribution depends on the entire distributor.

5. Online will be a challenge in rural and semi-urban.

6. Consumer packs of food items will not be sold in rural areas.

7. IT Won't Do Anything That Promotes Distribution.

8. Consumers need brands and they are not adaptable.

Unlearn Retail 1.0 to Retail 3.0

The above ideas are related to the market, whereas as a professional we need to transform ourselves and adopt the changes to keep pace with the development. This process is called unlearning some obsolete things that were living with us like deadwood and creating a complete mental block for us.


Now we are living in a new era where we have a lot of time to learn new things, we are IT savvy, we know best practices learned from a section of management institutes. And our market dynamics are changing so fast to make us in line.

Here we need to learn a lot of management strategies apart from the behavioral traits, we know the market, where momentum is the key to success. So what's slowing us down? Is this our knowledge? our behavior? our experience? Or we are not being chosen to do the right thing. What is the most important thing we need to learn or re-learn?

Is the Startup Ecosystem about to Change Everything in Retail? From idea to implementation, there are many such things that have taken a new shape. We need to know about the root cause, so far we learn about the symptoms but our old practices were enough to steer us through a kind of prescribed treatment. It was workable earlier, but in the present system, everything is happening rapidly where there is a need for new learning by professionals. Let's talk about some of the developments that have been going on in the retail ecosystem since 2012.

We have some new dynamics about the market through a new way of doing business. We are startups because our idea is unique, we have seen growth all over the world and that experience is there to give us new lessons, but before we think and compare those learnings in India, we should think twice or thrice that India is a different market.

Here you will be doing kind of injustice to your money, time, and efforts if you compare the markets of USA and UAE. Align your sequence and make sure things are happening as and when you write.

eB2B: A new way of doing i.e. disruption starts happening in different areas. Like B2B supply chain is being aggregated by e-B2B players. Udaan, ShopKirana, Jumbotel and Kirana King are there to disrupt the outdated distribution system by total supply chain. These are positive distributions that are leading the way in technology and empowering retailers in their buying decisions. Bijak on the other hand, they are providing e-mandi services to some startup brokers and agri aggregator like Dehat and many more.

eB2C: Jiomart, Grofers, Amazon, Flipkart, Bigbasket, on the other hand are there to provide one-stop solution to the consumers through eB2C. Now we are talking about Omnichannel, Hyperlocal and Last Mile connectivity. This is retail 4.0 version

Cash and Carry are there, though they are struggling enough to change the ecosystem in the areas they have stores.

Backward integration starts in making supply chain in Food i.e. from Agri Farm to Fork and all is being done through robust use of IT.

MSME on the other side is going heavily to promote farmers through various FPOs and Clusters, purpose is to streamline associations, productions, and supply chain of foods and empower the channels involves at various stages. Organize retail is expanding very fast, the success story of D-mart is there to lure thousands of individuals to open their superstores / standalone stores and they already started doing this.

Retail Fintech is on the other hand is going to drive bia g-budget to get market where funded NBFCs are there to provide various kinds of financial facilities to Retailers, Distributors, Suppliers & Manufacturers of products.

Even logistic providers are also getting funds because they are going tech-driven. Everyone who has the power to drive a segment through technology is part of the disruption.

Pharma on the other side is getting shape every day, companies like Apollo have already done it well before time, many more are in line. One fast-growing pharma chain is Dawaa Dost, all are getting funds.

Now think what will happen to the Frog which was in the Bore-Well for a long and what happened to him when he came out from the Well and saw the entire world. For him, this is new learning and re-learning. He should un-learn the things that he learned while living in that bore well and should adopt the changes for the betterment and should tuned-up his music with the developments.

A Retail professional who joined retail in 1995 and after 20 years when he visits a market, there is everything changed which he wants to describe and understand. Hence, Frog is a new market leader who is leading the startups and teaching them a new way of business.

 Retail 5.0 is ahead – Consumer Delight through Omni-channel services

Writer: Balwant Singh Rana

29.9.2020 10:36pm 

Sep 21, 2020

Why politics in Agriculture ? Agriculture Ordinance 2020

Modi Government's recent surgical strike on congress and various other political parties whose bread and butter comes from the vote bank of pitty farmers and this stike is done through an agricultural ordinance 2020..

Seems it become a practice for opposition to walk our and lead a strike on every move of Govt... It is the prime responsibility of the opposition to talk negative on every move whether it belongs to national security as recently we must hear from parties like Congress on China's recent encroachment...

Even, Akali dal one of the important friend of BJP left in between of this Bill... Later on, we have heard from the minister that Govt should clarify the outcome of this Agriculture ordinance that it is beneficial to Farmers. But for them, it is a political agenda in Punjab amid Farmer's agitation against the bill. 

On the other hand, Congress is trying to make every efforts to count shortcomings of this movement.. they are trying to convince farmers, Adatiya and traders that if this bill becomes Act and law, it will ruin the lives of all. 

This is a clear political agenda for parties whose political dignity, nepotism and power is through Farmers, their lucrative vote bank. Congress, SP, Left and other regional parties are in a big dilemma because the farmer is going to benefit, and once farmers start earning money through such development then they will not come under their scanner.

Most of the opponent are taking this the last nail in the coffin of their political career. 

I can observe that most of the political clan of India is out of mind or don't have the right vision for the country. The practice is now to oppose any movement of Govt whether it is right or wrong. Even without understanding the outcome, they start chasing people and trying to make negative propaganda. On the other side, many Indian people without knowing the truth and without going through its meaning come to oppose and set on fire property of the state.  What happened with the Citizen Act, NRC, national population register all are for the national security but it leads to brutal riots in Delhi.

Sometimes it hurts the emotions but who cares for the general public of this country. 

Coming to Agriculture Ordinance 2020. Here if we see all aspects and make them a positive for something then what is the harm in it. 

No doubt this bill is going beneficial to all stakeholders but Govt should give their clear statements on the following.

1.  How price will be determined. How effective MSP system will go after this Bill. 

2. What will happen to existing Mandi infra. If it will be there then how the farmer will be free to sale their crop outside mandi. If yes how?

3. Corporate entry. Now private companies and other semi Govt can invest in farming but farmers are not in  a comfort doing an agreement with corporates.

4. Mandi traders. Emotional bounding of farmers with aardiya and Mandi Traders. They are in millions and can form a greater front for great magnitude.

5. State Govt is earning a handsome revenue from Mandies. So losing this will be a burden for local bodies. 

6.Imbalance situation for small traders. 

7. Unemployment ... What about the employment being done so far from Mandies..

Instead of thinking about political parties, we should think that how our farmer get benefits from such developments. 

Local bodied working for farmers should come forward to make farmer understand and should provide enough informations to them that this Bill is for the welfare of their upcoming generation and for the benefits of coutry.  

We are an agricultural-based economy and we should relly upon majorly on our farmers. 

"Kissan hai to Insaan hai"

Sep 18, 2020

New Launches .. Consumer goods - A future ahead

Pandemic like Covid happened in centuries but when  spread like this, it leaves behind devastation in large numbers.  Countries across economic level get syndrome of inflation and rapid exploitation of existing resourced made it more dangerous. Countries like India too badily hit by the Covid 19, since March 2020 more than 5 million people had to left their job, numerous industries are still not started due to big migration of labour and non functional either any related backward integration or forward... 

Imbalance in every sector start beeping but there are few segments like healthcare and grocery kirana which remain unaffected throughout the lockdown months. Various new products were introduced by the national, regional and local level consumer goods companies.

Since last six month a positive distruption is seen in new product line , companied of national level  like HUL, P&G, Marico, ITC , Dabur, Amul did good while introducting new products and got good pull from consumers specially healthcare and foods.

But issue is about to come for local and regional level players where companies made heavey investment in products side but if market is not responding then what will happen..  

Why they are facing demand issue?
1. Distribution channel is now seems totally indifference because all want to do Cash transactions with retailers and but at demand side new products are a challenge for them to seek placement at retailers.

2. Retailers side : Retailer is facing demand crunch and a tough competition from online eB2C players and on the other side they dont have patience and passion to educate consumer for new products as it happened a decade ago..  on the other side retailer do not want to pay for products which are not demanded.

3. Consumer side... less issue when we talk about brands because, they keep a reasonable awareness among them and whenever companies communicate about new launch consumer don't have issue buying as per their habit.  but for regional and local players who don't have deep pockets and have no method and resources of mass communication, they failed to make awareness anout new launch. 

But above issue is temporary , when  devil of pandemic will go under the earth products specially in food segment will have a bright future. 

In support of this my blog article wrote during 2012 will show my thought on this.

Product in consumer pack is the future.

It need a organise distribution system , and a uniform name for call for action From where a communication in leu of marketing to be addressed to make consumer aware. There is a channel in between of brand and consumer and that is Retailer...

In this ecosystem product is kept in a black box..  brand carry that box and keep it in the shelf of retailer.. 

Here as a logistic and finance partner distributor played his role by carrying product to the retail store.

but where is the key, because  retailer put a big lock around that box. And without a Key a medium or a communication how it gonna open. 

Awareness is the key that should be given to end consumer so that they come to the retail store and ask for the box from where they can unlock the product...  

Now companies started working on this front, where more focus is to create pull for the new products. 

Kirana King is one of the company in Jaipur who is trying to connect all dots and creating a big platform for brands who are going to enter with new product line and want to explore the market in low cost.

Company's focus is to create a chain of grocery retails stores across Jaipur city.. 160 stores are live.

First ever company in Indian retail ecosystem who is converting old traditional kiranawala to Uniform name " Kirana King" by way of providing aggregation services of management and marketing by creating a network of stand alone traditional Kirana stores under the trade name"Kirana King" and giving them a uniform new look and feel , offering them centralise purchases solutions, managing shelves and display of various renowned brands on these stores and promoting these stores among consumers through various ATL/BTL marketing channels to establish the strong presence in their locality and to boost the sales of these stores thus an Asset light retail chain is working in the retail ecosystem and positively impacting grocery Retail in various ways. 

A future for new brands.  

Sep 15, 2020

Agriculture Ordinance 2020, A development or Dilemma

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 ..

When the whole country was locked under pandemic, people were worried about their livelihood and slow down was in every sector, emotions, behaviour but there were a movement and momentum in Delhi where Modi Govt was preparing to abolished APMC Act. June 2020 was the month when it was notified and the charter was issued by the GOI that APMC Act is now past and our farmers are now going millionaire, they are also going to set themselves free from the decades-old useless Act of APMC which was the root cause of big exploitation of farmers.

Before I jumped to a conclusion, I am briefing the current practice of selling farmers produce. 

Mandi system is an old traditional channel of dealing Agri produce from farmers.. state Govt earn a handsome amount in the form of Mandi Taxes.. so a cash Cow for them. Since independence and till date it remains under influence of local politics. Traders, and a series of brokers deals with farmers.  Mandi traders are the first channel between industry/market and farmer. The farmer sells their Agri produce to the Aartiya's/ Mandi traders at an Auction system.

The old system of selling products in the market... if we talk about this system now means in the IT arena, it means we are not doing justice with yourself.  Why should the farmer be treated like an illiterate?

During my job tenure with a big Agri company from 2010 to 2012, I had to visit the hundred"s of Mandies across India. More or fewer systems is the same with the old selling pattern across region, the same type of noise on auctioning the produce standing in a circle.. winner put a flag on the lot. Immediately labour start filling in bags...after weighing trader issue bill to the farmer after deduction of unloading charges, loading charges, stitching and thread charges, weightment charges, moisture loss, foreign matter, quality deductions, mandi tax, entry tax, lab charges and cash discount. if we sum up all overheads it goes above 15%, but it depends on product to products.

Do you think, farmer collect its crop direct from the farm and sell it to Mandi traders, no before going to mandi farmer had to spend on its cleaning, bagging freight, loading charges, but even after spending 20% to keep his product sellable again he has pay 10 to 15% using APMC platform because it is the Law and A influence of Act that without paying mandi taxes no one can sell their products to open market? 

In a layman way,  if one go and see the entire old system and surely you will feel an emotional touch with the farmer. He is fooled many times by the brokers and traders. Even MSP (Min Selling price) is not paid to farmers, the indebted farmer had to bow himself in front of the gange of brokers who incircled him when coming to Mandi.  More than a business, the farmer usually had to fulfil some of his personal obligations in the form of taking advance from Mandi traders for buying seeds and fertilisers and some time for a cause like marriage and other socials activities.  This is also a reason for them to stay connect with traders and brokers. I would say an emotional bounding of farmers with brokers and traders. 

I will not use word exploitation because it is not there in many cases, yes it is there when overproduction happens and in the absence of storage space, the farmer had to sell his crop at a lower price.  Why should he be punished, exploited when there are many more reasons to make him unhappy. Govt should ensure a proper infrastructure for storage of products. Being private partners for this kind of issues.  Let them build infra for farmers.

No doubt the existing Mandi system has many shortcomings but there are always two sides of a thing. So how we can blame brokers and traders for not giving a fair price.  Farmer is safe and still farming his land because brokers and traders are helping them on various occasions. Farmers are today hope for doing best. 

Instead of Govt's current decision of abolishing the APMC Act, there must be some reforms that should take place..  Root causes should be analysed. 

Why farmers are upset, a to read the detail report

If we think abolishing mandi systems brings benefits to farmers then I am the first person who will support this Bill but before going in deep let's take a dive.  

In the support of the bill

1. Farmer is free to sale his Crop to anywhere in India and anyone.  

2. Farmer can go with some sponsors who can buy his products as per the agreement between both. 

3. Farmer will receive money for buying seeds and other supplies require for a crop plantation.

4. There will be greater positively that the farmer will get a fair price

On the above points, I have no reser

vations, as a layman, it is clearly visible that farmer will have some direct connect with corporates and aggregators and traders.

Benefits to traders, wholesaler and retail distributors definitely this move is beneficial in terms of availability of products from his near market as well as from other markets.. Specially This Act is going to beneficial for packer and repacker industry.. Through a backward integration of supplied will make a robust system in terms of timely availability and at competitive pricings.

But still, some basic things need to be cleared, GOI is going to enable WTO manifest and it is backdoor entry to big retail companies, Agri giants to spread addiction in first five years and once all existing Mandi system vanished they will have the unilateral reign over the poor farmer and then real exploitation will happen. 

On the other hand, GOI going to remove stock limits, what will happen, if a layman has to bring some focus on this, means we are in dark.  

Black marketing of essential food items, it stated.taking place... Have you noticed that why prices of vegetables, fruits, pulses are touching the sky because trader started stocking?

Products like Potatoes vanished from the market, and the retail price is above Rs.40 a kg. Same is with all vegetables. Fruits.

Even the new rice crop will have higher price trend for Nov month. Parmal will be sold more than Rs.30 a kg. Ex mill basis. 


Following lines taken from the Act...

seeks to provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

I  have questions on the said, how effective it will be for the end consumer. 

And need more clarity on:-

1. WTO role, maybe an agenda

2. Multinational companies vested interest

3. Black marketing of products.

4. Economic imbalance.

As a layman I  going positive that farmer and traders both will be benefited, so definitely consumer is going to take the burden. 

Writer.Balwant Rana

As a layman, I am against the APMC abolishing Act and I would convince farmers not to accept this Act. It will be the last nail on the coffin of agricultural developments.

..pls share your views on this at

source : open from website.Https://

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