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The Great Indian Retail: Saravana store

After joining a b-school, I was amazed to know that how biased Indian B-schools are towards the west. This is a special reference to all the Harvard cases that we are taught. But, do they realize that the business environment operating abroad is entirely different from the one in India. Indian Retail Behaviour is different from what is perceived as retail behaviour in rest of the world. The psychology of Indian consumers is way too distinct, hence cannot be understood by studying the cases which are based on foreign multinationals. It sounds crazy to know that the strategies of Walmart followed in America are applied in Amritsar. Inspired by this humongous gap, we at BiZdOm are starting a new series on ‘The Great Indian retail’.

To start with, we would like to talk about a store which has not been as media savvy as other big names in Indian retail Like The Future Group, Birla, Tatas or Ambanis; however it serves as an in spiration for us. Infact, the Future Group CEO, the three younger family members and a bunch of about 20 other key Future Group executives had studied the model of this store before launching Big Bazaar.

Saravana store offers you the biggest and best collection of Dress material and house hold items with its Eight Storey shopping mall in T Nagar Usman Road, Chennai. People hate Saravana Stores for choosing that location because it makes Shopping becomes a sweat experience for all, but the same people love the store for its good collection and the best price available.

The place has some eight floors, a basement that may or may not have been counted in the eight, and hundreds of employees. They have over 120 employees to manage the customers thronging in the store. Also two huge elevators that can hold at least fifteen people but for our Indian habit of attempting to squeeze more out of everything.(Adjust Madi!!)

Saravana Stores is a 28 year old, family-run store. It has a very simple funda to run its business – “low margin, high volumes”.It stocks everything from appliances and groceries, to clothes, jewellery, toys and eyeglasses. Its textile and garment section too has everything from Kanchipuram silks to bed sheets and they have a seperate vessel section that has loads of steel utensils. There is a separate block for fast food, where delicacies include idlis, pooris, parottas, soft drinks and ice creams.


Located somewhat close to the railway terminus, one can see hordes of people getting in and coming out with shopping bags at any time of the day and any time of the year. To many, Saravana may be a shopper's nightmare, but there are lot of customers who just love it and approve of it with their frequent footfalls. A rough estimate tells that it does a business worth hundreds of crores on a single day during festivals. The place is jam-packed, particularly on weekends, particularly during holidays.

When you get into Saravana Stores, they want to make sure you buy something. You’ll find all sorts of things being sold at this place. There is a little something useful for everyone. For instance, you remember those famous mosquito bats? Well, Saravana Stores made a killing out of selling those bats. I suspect that could be said for several of their products.



Their website offers you options like Online shopping & Live Chat… And we thought only Future Group could bring innovayions in Indian Retail!!!!!

Tricky Trivia- It’s a ritual for all key executives who join Future Group to visit Saravana Store.
 
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