The Future Group of Kishore Biyani has almost doubled its market capitalisation in the past three months that witnessed consistent value erosion at online shoppers Flipkart and Snapdeal. The group has pioneered the organised retailing in India. Three listed entities of the group now have a combined valuation of INR 21,833 crore, more than that of Shoppers Stop, Trent and Arvind Group put together.
Kishore Biyani is being wooed by marquee investors, who recognise the Mumbai entrepreneur’s ability to revive retailing businesses that have remained largely fragmented in the nation of 1.2 billion people.
Kishore Biyani had hit a rough patch and was forced to sell his flagship lifestyle chain after first considering to merge Pantaloons with both Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle. He had to walk out of merger talks with the Landmark group in Dubai after a senior executive ridiculed the proposal. Five years after Pantaloons was sold and the Future Group began its journey afresh, the CEO has now become increasingly data-driven in his approach to the business.
The group is also looking to sell home furnishings business Home-Town, shut sportswear arm Planet Sports and merge stores of electronics chain Ezone within the supermarket BigBazaar. There will be only small stores and big stores.
As part of a strategy to more than treble its revenue to Rs 75,000-1 lakh crore by 2021, the group has also made more than a dozen global deals in the past few years. For its next phase of growth, the company would focus on the convenience store format.
Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group told ET, “I have always been a zero to one player, and I do not need investors now, and we have learnt from our mistakes. We know what not to do. We are now ruthless in our operations. It was an insult that I will never forget. Mergers are always among equals. Very few people in India understand M&A. You don’t let businesses die, you merge. ”
Kishore Biyani, who relied on cousin Rakesh Biyani to bring in technology and data for building a robust fashion business said, “Today, only data drive our decisions: We are ruthless with it and there are no emotions, and 70% of the decisions are taken through technology.”
Kishore Biyani, who plans to open about 10,000 Easy Day convenience stores now, against the earlier target of 3,000 by 2021 said, “We are looking for more acquisitions in the convenience store formats. We have built the platform now of brands, products, distribution, consumer insight and supply chain. I will be a fool if I don’t cash in on that. We will bring down prices so sharply that no rivals can match them. We will be the lowest-cost operator in FMCG and fashion”
Rakesh Biyani, joint MD at Future Retail said, “Our origin lies in the fashion business and we have more than three decades of history behind what we are doing. We sell over 15 crore units of garments every year and our fashion business is now over a billion dollars. We believe that our fashion business has matured and we are now set to reap the benefits of scale, experience and power of brands in creating value for all our stakeholders.”