He is in many ways the king of modern retail. But Kishore Biyani, chief executive officer of the Future group has been fighting a tough battle with e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Walmart across various segments of the market. Biyani talks about the impact of Walmart-Flipkart deal on Indian retailers in an interview with Surajeet Das Gupta. Edited excerpts:
What do you think will be the impact of the Walmart-Flipkart deal on offline retailers like you?
All over the world offline and online retail is now converging. For any online player to succeed in India it has to align with modern physical retail and the same is true vice-versa. Grocery for instance will be a major part of this eco-system and we are surely the leading player in this segment. What we will see is strategic alliances between online and off line players.
But will you be open to strategic alliances in India with online players? You already have a relationship with Amazon.
Yes we are open to strategic alliances with online players. That is the way forward. Our relationship with Amazon is transactional not strategic.
What is the eco-system in retail that you are talking about?
The eco-system will include offline and online retail, payments systems, logistics, insurance, healthcare and entertainment. Walmart has all this and Sam Club and also an alliance with Google. So they are also following the same strategy. In India we have the entire eco-system which include brands, factories, supply chain, logistics etc.
You don't have entertainment?
We can easily offer entertainment by tying up with companies and offer our customers free tickets for movies. That is also entertainment.
Do you see Future group aligning with a Walmart?
I cannot comment on this. All I can say is that it will be a period of strategic alliances.