Can Kirana shop owners survive against FDI in retail?


With green flag waving for FDI in retail, multi-brand retail will follow the path to India…causing more disturbance for politicians as well for our next door Kiranawallahs. Will kiranawallahs be successful in retaining their customers? What they can do to retain their customers??

What I feel is that is our good old kiranawallahs will retain and maintain their share of his consumer’s shopping spree. You might think what made me to say it?? Well what made to say this is the strengths of kiranawallahs that comes across my mind…

One of the main strength of the kiranawallahs is the local connection they establish. Most of our people almost look out for neighborhood solutions which benefit the kirana shops located in populated areas. They offer that personalized customer service where large retail brands are a failure. They understand their customer needs and what to say more, the nice word and the eye contact they make with the customers is far enough to understand what they need.

I have often heard my mom complaining how cold is the response of the staff in one of a modern retail outlet in the city….the kirana shop owners have an edge over the modern retail brands in this areas. They know the magic to create that personal bond with the customers and the consumers get overwhelmed by the approach of the kirana shop owners to them. This will encourage the consumers to come back to the kiranawallahs for shopping.

The other advantage of the kiranas is the low rent they need to pay and the labor they appoint. They are not needed to pay rents as the large formats have to do. Often they will be availed with flexible rent options. The labor they employees are also flexible and they might not have ever experienced what we call as attrition rate.

Like I mentioned in one of my previous article as how smart enough are these kiranawallahs (Kirana shop owners betting high on hypermarkets for better margin) is taking advantage of the biggies. So, there is no much worries but to face the competition what I suggest is that kiranawallahs start using social media tools and mobile technologies to target his consumers. This will help them to improve customer services at the most cost effective way…believe me using the latest tool can do wonders for them that a large format can’t imagine off.


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