Interview with Sunil Chainani, Board Member, Fab India
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Asia?
A huge opportunity as it will become the fastest growing and probably the biggest consumer market in the world. However, while retailers may succeed in gaining market share, they may struggle to maintain profitability as many new age companies with huge PE funding are disrupting the market.
Where are the growth areas for your company?
Reaching out to the growing middle class and younger segment in India, International growth, finding ways for the best of products we offer across the world to reach other growth markets.
What challenges and issues keep you awake at night?
The competition from some companies that in the interest of top line growth are willing to offer products and services at or below cost - these companies are only sustained by Investor money and are not concerned about P&L in the near term.
Sunil worked with one of India's top food companies, Britannia and their parent company ( Nabisco) from 1980-1990 - this included stints in Sales, Marketing, Buying and International Business and also included a 3 year stint in London. His last position held was General manager of Britannia's International Business division, which was an independent profit centre accounting for 25% of the company's revenue.
Since 1990 he has been working as an independent management consultant - initially focussed on development of International business for several large corporates. In the last few years he has focussed on start up and mid-sized businesses which are scaling up their operations. He has been advisor to several companies in fields like media, IT & ITES, Foods and Retail. Areas of focus include fund raising, company restructuring, development of management team, development and implementation of growth plans and mentoring the top management/ owners through the growth process.
Sunil has been on the Board of Fabindia for past 12 years and have assisted the group grow from USD 10 million to USD 175 million, building a management team, raising funds and in the investment/acquisition of East, Bandhej and Organic India.