Reliance Retail Limited and competitors


RRL’S (Reliance Group’s) VENTURE



Malls and Hypermarkets


Pantaloons Retail  (47)
Pantaloons Factory Outlets (37)
Big Bazaar (116 stores)
Big Bazaar Best Deals (3 stores)
Big Bazaar Express (3 stores)
Star India Bazaar TATA GROUP
Shopper’s Stop (27 stores) K. RAHEJA GROUP
Spencer’s Hypermarket (250 stores) RPG (Ram Prasad Goenka) GROUP

Organized ‘Kirana’ or Neighborhood grocery stores and grocery supermarkets




Food Bazaar (168 stores) BIYANI GROUP
Food World RPG (Ram Prasad Goenka) GROUP
Trinethra /Birla Supermarkets (619 stores) A.B. BIRLA GROUP

Apparels and fashion accessories

RELIANCE TRENDS ® Brand Factory, Fashion Station, Blue Sky, Celio, Central, Lee Cooper BIYANI GROUP
Trent Westside (38 stores)
Trent Fashion Yatra
Consumer Electronics RELIANCE DIGITAL ® Croma Retail (34 stores) TATA GROUP
Books and Music stores RELIANCE TIMEOUT ® Depot (116 stores) BIYANI GROUP
Landmark (10 stores) TATA GROUP
Jewels Reliance Jewels ® Navaras BIYANI GROUP
Tanishq Jewellery TATA GROUP

Biyani group (India)


Food/Grocery stores

Food Bazaar

Snack shops, cafés, coffee shops

Brew Bar, Cafe Bollywood, Chamosa, Sports Bar

Fashion, Apparels, General Merchandise

Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, Fashion@Big Bazaar, Blue Sky, Brand Factory, Celio, Central, Lee Cooper, KB’s FairPrice

Shoe products

Shoe Factory

Sport goods

Planet Sports




Home Solutions/furniture

Home Town, eZone, Furniture Bazaar, Electronics Bazaar, Home Bazaar, Collection i

Inflation, the market, govt stimulus and years 2010/2011

Here is an interview with Harvard professor Martin Feldstein, says
that the stimulus is supporting the market rally and that support
runs out by 2010. We may be in a precarious position by 2011.
Ofcourse, I think there is more to it than just the stimulus – the
dollar value, commodity prices, inflation.


Proctor & Gamble washing cars?


The giant manufacturer of household staples including Pampers diapers, Crest toothpaste and Gillette razors is forging a new business model: franchising car washes.

To jump-start plans for a nationwide chain of Mr. Clean Car Wash franchises, P&G in December acquired the franchise assets of Atlanta-based Carnett’s Car Wash, which has 14 locations.

“We need to look for new opportunities to allow us to grow,” says Bruce Brown, P&G’s chief technology officer. “That isn’t limited to things within our current business model.”

P&G is under mounting pressure to find new sources of revenue growth, particularly as more cash-strapped shoppers think twice about buying its premium-priced products. Wall Street is increasingly skeptical that the mammoth company can garner meaningful gains in its slow-growing product categories and a tough economy.

Professional car washing, which rings up about $35 billion in sales a year in the U.S., according to P&G estimates, won out as the company’s first major franchise push. “We want to blow this out to a national network of car washes,” Mr. Brown says.

The car-washing business has a handful of competitive advantages, says Nathan Estruth, vice president of P&G’s FutureWorks, which develops new business ventures. It lacks a dominant national chain, aging baby boomers are reluctant to wash cars themselves and more water-strapped communities are pushing professional car cleaning as a conservation measure.

Forming a franchise system, rather than owning locations, means “we don’t have to enter a capital-intensive business,” he says.

P&G knows people may cut down on car washing in the recession. But franchise guru James Amos notes that the franchise industry typically grows during economic slowdowns. With more people out of work, “there’s a larger pool of franchise candidates,” says Mr. Amos, chairman of P&G’s franchising-subsidiary board.

P&G, which scrutinizes shoppers down to the seconds it takes to notice a bottle on a store shelf, says it will offer franchisees detailed information about car-wash locations, consumer targeting and advertising response rates — techniques developed during the Cincinnati-area tests that P&G will combine with the Arnetts’ experience.

The Arnetts have deconstructed each step of a car wash in their franchisee-training process, including the precise location of where to start wiping a window and the direction in which the first stroke needs to go. Towel care also counts. “It matters what temperature you use to wash them,” says Mr. Estruth of the lessons learned from the Arnetts.

Finally, the Arnetts say, it’s important to add a little “Hollywood” to the process, which includes a theatrical snap of a towel before it is laid down in front of the car door so the customer can wipe his or her feet before getting into their car, Mr. Arnett Jr. says.

Source: WSJ, article by Ellen Byron

USDA loans – going back to old habits

Builders are jumping on a no-money-down program to bolster sales in depressed markets.
Sounds familiar?

Builders and lenders are dusting off a familiar pitch: mortgages with $0 down and 100% financing.
The deals, which take advantage of a little-known loan program at the U.S. Agriculture Dept., are bolstering sales in some areas.
These new mortgages share some characteristics with the old ones now wreaking havoc on the housing market-and critics fear lending standards could slip. Says Daniel Oppenheimer, an analyst with Credit Suisse: “Unlike beef, these loans should be described as USDA subprime.” In the grand scheme of the $1.89 trillion residential real estate market, the USDA program-founded in 1949 to spur home sales and development in rural areas-is still a blip. But since the financial crisis, the program has exploded in size. As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prop up housing, the U.S. allocated $10.5 billion to the Agriculture Dept.’s guaranteed loan program this year, up from $6 billion in 2008 and $3 billion in the past. The result: The number of home loans guaranteed by the USDA swelled to nearly 120,000 in the first nine months of 2009, up from roughly 35,000 in all of 2007. Given the rampant development during the boom, many communities where the USDA loans are available aren’t technically “rural” anymore-and include exurbs near big cities.
Source: BusinessWeek

Americans Keep Losing Faith

The American public’s assessment of the accuracy of the news media has reached a new low. 63% of American adults say that news stories are often inaccurate, compared to 53% in 2007 and 34% in 1985. 70% say that the news media tries to cover up its mistakes, and 27% describe the press as “not professional.”
Source: Pew Research Center –

Why India escaped the financial meltdown

The Indian economy was not as battered as the other world economies in the past year’s meltdown: why?

The answer is simple: government control over the banks and a conservative approach that is focussed on an expanding middle class.

India’s major banks are 75% owned by the central government, and hence they do not own exotic investment portfolios. According to the US Banker, during the meltdown, the indian financial sector ended up with only $500 million in toxic assets: the conservative financial policies set by the government (thanks to former PM Indira Gandhi) saved India.

Having said that, as the Indian middle class further grows from 50 million people to more than 500 million people in 2025, Goldman Sachs projects that the Indian GDP could expand to $28 trillion by 2050 and the per capita income will increase. Indian retail business will get competitive as well, because the domestimc consumer demand will increase as a result of per capita increase.

What will happen: most possibly, the banks in India will need capital and they will have to come out to the public. Government ownership will decrease and eventually, banks will raise money via share offerings. Hopefully, when all this happens, I hope that the India does not step into the steps of US: mindless consumer spending and highly leveraged consumers are no good for any economy.