Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail is in the expansion mode and is looking to take its food-to-fashion chains into newer Indian cities as well forge new strategic alliances.

“I am pleased to report that we have done extraordinarily well, despite the tough economic conditions. Having achieved critical scale, Reliance Retail is now working on expanding its coverage. This expansion would encompass new cities, new markets and new strategic alliances,” Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Mukesh Ambani, told shareholders at the company’s 35th Annual General Meeting here on Tuesday.

Reliance Retail is an unlisted and wholly-owned subsidiary of energy giant, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

Concurrently, Reliance Retail would focus on continuously innovating to enrich the shopping experience, through customised offers, private labels and ‘value-for- money’ merchandise, he added.

Reliance Retail today serves over five-million customers in 86 cities across 14 states. The fashion-food-gadgets chain operates nearly 1,000 stores.

“We are developing an ecosystem, which will strengthen our offering, while bringing wealth to our stakeholders, primarily marginal farmers, small transporters and vendors,” Mr. Ambani said.

Reliance Retail presently works with nearly one-lakh farmer families across 4,000 villages in India. This direct linkage with the farmers makes the company one of the largest food retailers in the country.

The retailer is also working toward creating a services platform for Reliance by building an overarching supply chain infrastructure.

“Our efforts would be on expanding and reinforcing the supply chain and logistics. This services platform would be a formidable base for value creation,” Mr. Ambani added.

The company has undertaken various actions in the past year to refocus its operations and expansion plans around sustainable growth.

“We have focused on doing millions of small things well-every single time and in every single store. This short breather that we have taken from breakneck expansion has been time well spent, because we have gained a robust foundation on which to build a rapid scale-up in the future,” Mr. Ambani said.


RIL preparing for a new future November 17, 2009

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