The ₹31,345-crore Future Group, led by Kishore Biyani, has drawn up a blended commerce strategy, code-named ‘Tathastu’, with an aim to get two crore members from 10,000 stores to spend ₹50,000-1,00,000 each, per annum, thereby creating a ₹1,50,000-crore opportunity for the company in the next five years.

Tathastu, which means ‘so be it’ in Sanskrit, promises to bring the “whatever, wherever, whenever” promise to all Future Group customers.

Digital push

The strategy is underpinned by a slew of digital products being rolled out from its C&D Lab (Consumer & Digital Lab) based in Bengaluru, starting with an Android app called Easy Day Club (which is in pilot now) that is to be rolled out by month-end. This will be followed by the iOS, web and mobile browser versions.

“Tathastu or Retail 3.0 is a contextual blended commerce model which will incorporate the best of both Retail 1.0 (brick and mortar stores) and Retail 2.0 (e-commerce) along with new technology advancements. By contextual I mean, using data to know more about what customers want and also predict their needs, where our stores will still be the hub of all commerce locally. We are digitally re-inventing the entire Future Group starting with Easy Day stores, as it is our newest format, where we can influence change easily,” said Somu Vadali, Chief Digital & Product Officer and Head of C&D Lab at Future Group.

The company’s vision is to build a virtual digital store that is open to customers 24/7 that is managed with digital data, so orders can be placed from anywhere, anytime and anyplace, with options of express delivery, standard delivery, in-store pick-up, etc. “When members of Easy Day Club walk into our Easy Day, Nilgiris, Heritage and Food World stores today, they will get to choose from beyond the 3,500 SKUs which a store typically stocks. On the Easy Day Club app, we now give customers who come to buy groceries at our stores, access to product catalogues of all our other formats which will meet all their needs around Roti, Kapada and Makaan.

On top of this, we want to add a marketplace layer wherein we will partner with other merchants to bring in their products and services such as digital lending, health insurance, travel and hotel services, spa and beauty care, etc, creating an ecosystem where customers can buy everything they need,” added Vadali.

He leads a team of 70 plus data scientists and technologists who are currently building prototypes for voice-enabled commerce, ordering through text via Whatsapp, among others.

From 1,100 stores across 255 cities which has touched over 500 million people, the company aims to open 10,000 stores within 2-3 km radius of every customer with 2,000 members per store.

Spend data

Of the two crore customers being targeted, the company is looking to get one crore customers to each spend ₹50,000 annually and the other crore customers to each spend ₹1,00,000 at its stores annually.

C&D Lab is supported through a ₹100-crore corpus that funds operations, technology development and IP creation and is working with several start-ups to co-create solutions which will be launched shortly, such as Mobile POS, e-Bill, Smart Cart self checkout, Chat/Voice Bots, VR-enabled immersive experiences among others.