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Rediff.com  » Business » Tatas hire Aditya Birla Retail's marketing head

Tatas hire Aditya Birla Retail's marketing head

October 13, 2008 10:16 IST

Trexa, the mall management company of Tata group's retail arm Trent and global private equity firm The Xander Group, has hired Aditya Birla Retail's head of marketing Sanjay Badhe as chief executive officer, according to sources in the know. Trent confirmed the appointment.

Last year, Trent had entered into a tie-up with The Xander Group wherein Xander was to invest in malls along with local developers and Trent was to be the anchor tenant.

Currently, three-to-four such malls are being developed in cities such as Surat and Ahmedabad.

The tie-up was expected to help in the expansion of Trent's formats such as Westside, Landmark and Star Bazaar.

Badhe has earlier worked with companies such as Shoppers Stop, Raymond, Al Futtaim Watches & Jewellery and MARG Marketing Group.

Trent, led by Noel Tata, is expanding steadily. The company is planning to take the number of its stores to 50 from 39 now in the next one year. It also plans to open 50 new hypermarkets in the next couple of years.

In the last two years, some of the corporate majors such as Reliance, Birlas and Bharti have entered the organised retail space, which is expected to grow to 14-18 per cent of the total retail market by 2015 from a mere 5 per cent now.

But many of their senior executives quit within a short time and moved to other companies or sectors.

Analysts attributed this churning to the ambitious expansion plans of retailers, unreasonable targets and their failure in meeting planned revenue estimates.

A couple of months ago, ABRL's chief executive officer Sumant Sinha left the company to join Tulsi Tanti's Suzlon as chief operating officer.

Earlier, Andrew Denby, the expat chief executive of ABRL's supermarket business and the same company's Chief Information Officer Parakh Dave had quit. 

Andrew Levermore, chief executive of K Raheja group's HyperCity, has put in his papers recently while Dipankar Halder, chief executive of Wadhawan Food Retail joined Bharti Retail last year.

"Even some of the biggest retailers overestimated the market and opened stores blindly. Retailing is a tough business and takes time to produce returns. In between, some of them realised the problems and now going about it practically,'' said an analyst from a leading retail consultancy.

Retailers are now taking steps to improve efficiencies and beat the slowdown.

Kishore Biyani's Future Group, which runs more than 1,000 stores, is cutting back on advertisements, recruitment costs and reduce travel expenses to save as much as Rs 165 crore (Rs 1.65 billion) in 2008-09 and ABRL is undergoing major restructuring process in operations and administration areas to beat the slump in the economy.

Raghavendra Kamath in Mumbai
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