THE CUSTOMER is not only a king but also an employer. Globus Retail CEO Vinay Nadkarni said this on Monday while delivering the key note address at the inauguration of a three-day international conference on marketing in the new global order organised by the North American Society of Marketing Education in India (NASMEI) and at the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, (IIM-I).
The position of customer has become all-powerful with the increasing need of selling products being felt by all traders. The term ‘loyal customer’ is a wrong interpretation and a commonly held misconception for the loyalty is limited to the product and not to the brand and if it becomes dissatisfactory the customer will leave it in favour of another, said Nadkarni.
He spoke about the shift in consumption due to changes in demographics, increasing affluence and reverse flow of value from developing nations to the developed world.
The cycle of consumption is changing and the Indian retail industry is witnessing this sea change due to availability of different retail formats, he said.
Globalisation is fraught with changes and perception depends on which side of the globe one is on. The concept evolved by the West is now benefiting the eastern countries.
The very population, which was once considered a bane, has now become a boon by presenting the biggest untapped market and a reservoir of talented people.
IIM-I Director SP Parashar said that the cold war had not truly ended, as every country has to constantly toy with new allies and axis powers, which keep shifting from time to time. As long as politics will remain, power dynamics will also remain.
The concept of Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) has taken in and hitherto; age will not matter as much as capability. The companies will have to work on the principle of sustainable profitability by adopting the triple bottom line approach.
He spoke about the challenges to cater to the bottom of the market and yet achieve sustainable growth.
He also said that true challenge was to find out how the world looked at flat from top and bottom end of the market. Only those providing the most innovative product at affordable rates while sustaining environmental concerns will be able to create a niche mark in the society and marketing will have to grapple with these issues.
The conference co-chair and an IIM-I faculty presiding over the function said that the new global order has double impact of positive being creation of new jobs and making products and services accessible to large mass of the market, with the negative being creation of unsustainable consumption for customers who otherwise would have saved the money for the future. The challenge is to cater to the bottom of the pyramid market by applying emerging information technology.
The inauguration session was followed by a panel discussion. SK Mishra, Director, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Gwalior, Rajendra Nargundkar, Director, PES, Bangalore, D Dhanapal, Director, Sona School of Management and Vinay Nadkarni, CEO, Globus Retail joined the panel discussion and spoke on various aspects of marketing in the new global order.
Fifty-six research papers from different parts of the world including the USA, Australia and the UK were presented at the conference.
Nadkarni released the institutes’ research and publications newsletter and the Institutes research journal ‘International Journal of Management Practices and Contemporary Thought (IMPACT)’. The other releases include books titled ‘Marketing in the New Global Order- Challenges and Opportunities’ and ‘Marketing Management’.