These big guys have all the resources required to motivate the governments to act in their favor. They are big, they are organized and most of all they see great potential setting up shop in India.
I am finally convinced that all the parties opposing FDI may at the most delay it for some more time, but they cannot and will not be able do much to stop it. In fact, the ruling coalition government at the center has given the green signal to FDI in multi-brand retail. It has taken a firm step and has shown a strong political will in announcing this decision.
So what next?
I think it is time for the local mom-n-pop stores to get their act together. They are faced with a huge challenge of combating competition from these big boys.
The first thing to do is take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. Do a SWOT analysis. Understand the strength, weakness, opportunity and threat faced by both parties, i.e. the small stores and the big guys.
Everyone needs to seriously get to work and start getting the act together. This means that they will have to reorganize their stores to create an atmosphere worthy of their customers. In the current regime, almost all these mom-n-pop stores have a very similar look and feel. Some have started already upgrading but they still have a long way to go.
The biggest thing in favor of the mom-n-dad stores is the direct one-to-one relationship that they have with their customers. This needs to be further consolidated. It must be strengthened with campaigns and strategies that will encourage and reward customer loyalty.
- reorganizing displays,
- incentives and discounts for loyalty
- air-conditioning - if possilbe