Sunday, June 28, 2009

Guest Post by Mr. Shiv Murti, A mentor for most Indian retail professionals!

I can remember the first time I saw the site sometime in 2000 1st. Quarter. The site comprised of 2 factory sheds with a road in between and I wondered how we would make a Hypermarket out of it. Many months later the final design came out and when the civil work was completed it was like a transformation of the Ugly duckling. India's first single level Hypermarket was born.

The next step was filling it up. 45,000 sq.ft. of store space - a team that was more used to filling up supermarkets of 3,000 sq.ft - new product categories to handle. It was a learning experience and a very enriching one and within 4 months we had the Product Master ready with the space allocations etc.

Then the order placement and the drive to fill up the store. We set ourselves an impossible task of 15 days time from first receipt to opening. I remember Kruben saying it normally took 60 days but he had done it in 45 days with a supply chain that worked, vendor supply efficiencies of 90% plus and with experienced staff. We had none of these but we had a team that was willing, eager and did not know the meaning of the word impossible. We were ready 1 hour before the store opening with what even Michael and Kruben admitted was a very high level of store readiness and a store fill of approx 84% of what we had planned as the SKU count. It took passion and an immense drive from everyone concerned to make it possible.

And then of course the store opened. And within the first hour we knew it was a runaway success. That was the story of the opening of the first true hypermarket in India and it was all made possible by a very committed team.


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