File image: Future Group Chairman Kishore Biyani
In a post-COVID-19 world, "digital first" would be crucial, said Kishore Biyani, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Future Group.
"The post-COVID world will be different from the pre-COVID world. 'Digital first' will be critical, impacting shopping habits," he told Business Standard.
"A heightened sense of hygiene and comfort will drive consumers, forcing marketers to design products keeping these attributes in mind. Building trust and last-mile delivery is something that marketers will need to devote their attention to if they wish to retain their customers," he said.
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Biyani also spoke about the rollout of Future Group's two-hour delivery service, saying that the service has begun in Mumbai, Delhi-National Capital Region, and Bengaluru, and will soon take it to cities such as Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chennai.
"The next phase will be to take it to places where we have at least three stores. And then we will take it across India. This should take around three months as we are going phase-wise," Biyani told the publication.
"COVID or not, the show must go on. Ultimately, it's about doing business,"he said.
Future Groups owns retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Foodhall, Nilgiris and Hometown. It also owns brands such as Golden Harvest, Karmiq, Tasty Treat, Sunkist, ThinkSkin, and Mother Earth.
In the next two-three months, the company will launch an FMCG brand called Smartsters under Future Consumer, which will focus on packaging and product innovations. Biyani also said the company is working on a fashion brand.
Biyani also said the plan to bring 7-Eleven stores to India was held up after the pandemic began.
"We had worked on the back-end, food recipes, trials, etc for 7-Eleven. Right now, however, our attention is on our existing formats, not 7-Eleven. There is enough on the table for us at this point," he told Business Standard.