Retail Rendezvous on Technology with Rafique Malik

Technology adoption in retail is at its most exciting phase in India. Retailers – big and small are understanding the power of IoT, Cloud Computing and Big Data Analytics. In an exclusive interview to www.indiaretailreview.com, Rafique Malik, Chairman, Metro Shoes talks about technology adoption used at Metro Shoes.

Mr. Rafique Malik

ZSK: Retail and technology – your views?
RM: Technology is an enabler and in today’s world, a digital mindset is mandatory. Technology gives us the access and ability to shift through and access immense amounts of data. It does, however, require business acumen to convert that into relevant and useful information that can be used for business decisions.

ZSK: Technology platforms adopted at Metro Shoes?
RM: In terms of significant investments, we have invested in an integrated software for our point of sale and customer loyalty. We have invested in SAP for finance and accounts. We are currently using ‘ Theory of constraints ‘ for auto replenishment of inventory and merchandise planning.

ZSK: What are your views on Internet of Things in India? How equipped are retailers to make use of IoT to its full potential?
RM: The Internet of things is a revolutionary concept which will take a little time to develop into its full potential. The basic premise is that our lives and devices will be seamlessly connected to ensure the most efficient optimization of our lives. The primary necessity for this will be data infrastructure in this country. Until 4G and access to internet becomes a given in terms of infrastructure, we cannot fully harness the power of IoT. The first steps on this journey are however evident through retailers personalizing their offerings to customers and the advent of wearable technology.

ZSK: Please comment on the implementation of Big Data analysis at Metro and Mochi?RM: We are using its ability primarily in merchandise planning through our use of TOC (Theory of constraints). We are using it to analyze store throughput and sales. Big data analytics proves especially valuable in analyzing customer’s purchase history and their buying preferences. Through this we are able to send targeted and relevant communications to our customers based on their wants.

ZSK: Cloud computing and retail – your views?
RM: Just the way Apple i-pods cooked a storm and took over walkmans within a few months of their launch, cloud computing will be the future of technology basis advanced analytics. From influencing purchase decisions to providing digitally connected customers what they value and expect, cloud computing is soon to emerge as the one-stop-solution to meet consumer expectations at all phases of their shopping experience. It is already implemented internationally and India becoming a more digital economy will undergo the cloud wave in a matter of few years!

ZSK: Top 3 departments within the organization where technology adaptation has been of immense help
RM: Merchandising / stock replenishments, e-commerce and customer loyalty.

  • Zainab S Kazi –

 

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