Mr. BC Bhartia
National President of CAIT, First generation member of the founding family of Bhartia Group of Enterprises.
Q1. In addition to being a representative for the world’s largest trade organisation, what motivates you to drive the changes in the practices of the members?
A1. Indian retail is primarily ancestral family driven. They generally do not adapt to changes at the pace they should. At CAIT we are trying to educate our traders to meet future challenges of retail trade by adopting technology, availing credit and improving business practices. Our punchline is the “upgradation and modernisation of trade and traders”.
Q2. What are the initiatives that you have undertaken?
A2. We have launched a massive campaign throughout the country with the help of a Rath (Chariot for Change). It started from New Delhi on 15th of September 2018 and concluded on 19th December 2019, after travelling about 40,000 km across the country. Through this Rath we are educating on digital payments, statutory compliances, raising of funds, how non-banking financial companies can be helpful in getting easy and quick Finance. We are also educating on adoption of online trade through our own portal e-lala.biz Continuous seminars, conferences and workshops are conducted in India, where experts from different fields are invited to enlighten our traders.
Q3. Which areas do you see change happening and where do you see challenges?
A3. Retail traders have understood that they will have to change in their working and the approach by adopting modern ways of doing retail business. They have already computerized accounting systems. Now they are going ahead with inventory management and proper MIS. However, inclination for online business is still a challenge.
With respect to availing credit from formal channels, the documentation required to avail funds by certain segments is still not well understood. Possibly in the near term, they will equip themselves with cross verifiable financial statements that can be used to support their credit requests. Our latest initiative launched in partnership with CreditEnable, under the banner of the Changemakers Programme, will help our members prepare for credit and secure loans from the formal sector.