I first attended the Asia Retail Congress in February 2011 where I had the privilege of accompanying the Managing Director of Rahimafrooz Superstores Bangladesh, the operators of the Agora Supermarket Chain to receive the retail excellence award.
I was delighted to be invited to be in the advisory panel of the Asia Retail congress 2012 and to be a speaker as I had lots to share from my experience of making Agora a winning supermarket chain during the last 31 months as the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Rahimafrooz Superstores.
I flew in from Dhaka to Calcutta and Calcutta to Mumbai on the 13th night on Jet Airways, which provides you a pleasing flying experience. The drive to the Taj Land’s End hotel in the plush and comfortable BMW, with cold towels and mineral water offered by the well-mannered driver gave me a hint of things to come. The welcome at the hotel , check-in and being escorted to the room fitted with all the facilities of a modern 5 star hotel was a great beginning for the upcoming two days.
The beginning of the conference was very emotional with Indian national anthem video projected on the two giant screens in the hall. This was extraordinary with the instrumental version of the national anthem supported by visuals of differently-abled children singing it with sign language! What a treat that was!
Dr Prodipta Sen, Executive Director – Marketing, Retail & Corporate Affairs, Alpha G:Corp Development Pvt Ltd., the chairman of the conference welcomed the delegates and the speakers wishing everyone happy Valentine’s day. It was interesting to note that Valantine’s day is been positioned as a day for peace, harmony and unity, especially in areas where the original meaning of Valentine’s day has not been well accepted.
There were many presentations and two panel discussions. I was fortunate to be in a panel discussion on day one and to do a solo presentation on day 2. All presentations had key takeaways [see detailed article at http://ranjandesilva.com/articles-newsletters/515-2/ for the key takeaways].
The retail award ceremony started after a short break. The chief guest was leadership guru Dr Marshal Goldsmith, Co-founder of Marshal Goldsmith Partners & Coach, Best Selling Autho, world-renowned thought leader and world-class motivational speakers. His key message was a challenge to the audience: Do you get feedback from your family about your leadership? If not how effective can you be leading your team at work? This was very thought provoking for many in the audience.
Among the many awards two Sri Lankan retail Chains, No Limit and Sun Up Supermarkets [Laugfs] won awards. In addition Mr Wegapitiya of Sunup Supermarkets received the retail excellence award for his contribution to the retail industry in Asia. The award ceremony was followed by dinner.
There were more presentation on day 2 which enhanced the value gained in day 1.
Overall the Asia Retail congress had a great selection on speakers and topics and it highlighted how the developments in the retail industry change our lifestyles and quality of living.
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