Future Group to tie up with tech firms to raise funds for expansion
Kishore Biyani’s Future Group is aiming to become one of the largest packaged consumer goods company in India
Mumai: Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is on an expansion spree and is looking to tie-up with tech companies, which can bring in the big bucks, and not necessarily for their technology know-how.
“We are looking at these (technology) companies to bring in the money. Technology is not a big thing,” said Biyani on the sidelines of the India Retail Forum event in Mumbai.
“We are ahead of the world in our use of technology.”
In May, Mint had reported that the country’s largest pure-play retailer was in talks with global retailers, technology companies and strategic investors for potential partnerships. The group was looking to tie up with the likes of Amazon.com Inc., the Walmart-Flipkart combine, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Chinese firms Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.
For Biyani, capital is key to becoming a trillion-dollar company by 2047, a vision he had outlined two years ago. As far as technology is concerned, the group has made considerable progress in the last two years with its ability to map consumer requirements, assortments and predict the location of its upcoming stores.
Biyani is also aiming to become one of the largest packaged consumer goods company in India. With Future Consumer Retail, it is creating an entire ecosystem from manufacturing to distribution and ownership of the consumer through loyalty programmes. “We will build the biggest FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) business that the country has ever seen and with our own distribution in less than 10 years.”
Currently, Future Group is opening two small store format ‘Easy Day’ outlets, every day across towns with a population of 100,000 people. By next month it aims to clock three stores a day and by next financial year it will strike five stores a day, he said. For towns with a population of less than 100,000, he is planning Aadhar stores, or franchise stores. “You will see something happening on the entertainment front as well,” said Biyani, without detailing specific timelines.
However, challenges remain. “With backward integration, Biyani has a compelling value proposition,” said Anurag Mathur, partner and leader, consumer goods and retail, PwC’s strategy and management consulting practice. Given that he will have to open up his distribution to stores outside of his network, it might not be easy to become the largest packaged consumer goods company in India.