The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the Center of Policy Research and Governance (CPRG) India organized a multi-stakeholder conference in association with METRO Cash & Carry. The conference held in New Delhi was titled Retail Samvad. It was based on the theme ‘Future of Small Retail: Resilience and Opportunities for Small Retailers’.

The inaugural address on ‘Futureproofing Small Retailers & MSMEs for India@100’ was delivered by Hon’ble Member of Parliament and Ex-IRS, Ms. Sunita Duggal who said, “Under the leadership of Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi, the government is open to addressing the issues of industries and taking concrete measures to make business easier. Ground level solutions are required to become more operationally resilient in the retail sector. We look forward to the recommendation by the speakers, associations and think-tanks today, to present their views towards empowering and safeguarding the interest of small retailers in India.”

The opening session focussed on the traditional trade’s resilience and how they are fighting to stay relevant in the era of quick delivery mechanism. The speakers in this panel discussion highlighted the need for recognising the contribution by small retailers and creating an environment to support their efforts. In-lieu of the policy intervention required for the retail segment, emphasising on the challenges faced by small retailers, the imminent leaders reiterated the need for a speedy intervention from the government of India.

The discussions were on the various policy interventions required by the government of India, heightening the need to consider the right recognition for the segment, facilitating a better environment for small retailers for their ease of doing business. The deliberation was focussed on traditional trade and small retailers’ issues with multiple licensing, renewals, clearances and the key interventions required for their ease of operation. The think-tanks of the industry also pondered on the urgent requirement for upskilling the workforce, enabling them to stay relevant and creating better employment opportunities for the segment.

The daylong event concluded with recommendations and policy interventions required from the government of India to consider; include the segment in the government schemes/Yojnas; and help in recognising the sector and the valuable contribution made by the small retailers in strengthening the retail economy.

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