The official announcement for the much awaited and anticipated move of Reliance Industries acquiring Future Group has been made
. The deal worth INR 24,713 crore ($3.4 billion) gave Reliance the retail offerings of Future Group which consists of Big Bazaar, FoodHall and FBB among others.
Abhijit Avasthi, co-founder of marketing firm Sideways, hopes that after the acquisition the management team builds on the cultural connect Big Bazaar has with Indians.
“Big Bazaar is an iconic brand which is synonymous with modern retail in India," Avasthi says. "It introduced mass India to the delights of shopping by making top notch goods, branded and unbranded, to one and all, across categories and giving Indians a never-before shopping experience. There is a cultural connect that the brand has with Indians. So, I hope the new management only builds on that going ahead keeping the existing/emerging aspirations and needs of the man on the street,” he explains.
Joseph George, founder, chairman and MD of brand and communications consultancy Tilt Brand Solutions believes that this is the start of something massive in the grocery business space in India. "While at a broader level, this is clearly a Reliance style dominating play in retail, I think the future of groceries is what may change forever in India. Groceries is what is Future's clear strength and that which is Reliance's obsessive interest. This synergy is bound to manifest itself into something tectonic in the space of groceries specifically."
Jaideep Shergill, founding partner, Pitchfork Partners, echoes George’s point-of-view about Reliance Industries’ obsession with the food and grocery category being a reason that company invested in Future Group. He further states that this retail evolution could provide competition to the likes of Amazon in the country.
"Future Retail is a large part of the jigsaw that Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries is piecing together for its retail play. The vision is underpinned by its telecom play, Jio, which will become an enabler. Grocery seems to be the big attraction for Ambani - the food and grocery segment is pegged at $545 billion and is poised to grow to $850 billion over the next five years. JioMart would look to grab a lion's share of it. Through this acquisition, Reliance controls large-format stores like Big Bazaar, premium outlets like FoodHall, fashion retail brand FBB and smaller formats like Easyday and WH Smith. With all this, we are set to witness another retail revolution in India - one that could provide serious competition to the likes of Amazon,” he says.
Dheeraj Sinha, Leo Burnett's chief strategy officer for South Asia and MD for India, Leo Burnett says that the brand Big Bazaar is a great asset for anyone to own. “It’s among a few of the strongest brands being built in India in last couple of decades," Sinha says. "The business of retailing on the other hand is about back-end efficiency. My sense is that the combined scale of Reliance Retail will provide a great back end to the brand Big Bazaar which can work very well with other retail brands in the Reliance portfolio.”