Kishore Biyani’s Future Group Gold Is To Become A One-Stop Shop

Kishore Biyani’s Future Group wants to bring a host of facilities and services under one umbrella.

They include delivery of groceries, selling services like gym membership and spa treatment, tying up with NBFCs to provide credit, partnering for entertainment content on its app and setting up a data centre in the Bay Area in the US.

The company has set aside Rs 1 billion for on-boarding artificial intelligence and machine learning on the platform and is going to set up a data analytics centre in the US. It is also planning to double the number of its small format stores which run under the Easyday, Nilgiri or other banners to 2,000. It is targeting to have one of these small format stores every two kilometers.

Kishore Biyani's store projections

Kishore Biyani’s store projections

Just like Amazon, which has a bouquet of services including ecommerce, mobile wallet, and entertainment, the Future Group is planning to add whatever services are necessary including partnering with an online entertainment content provider to add on to its app platform.

Taking on online biggies such as Amazon and Flipkart, the Future Group is also launching a premium membership programme for Rs 999, which it hopes will attract customers for the value-added services it is going to provide via its small format stores. Over the next 15 months, the company is planning to add 1,000 small stores. The group is also planning to open up another 40 Big Bazaars and 60 Brand Factory stores.

Biyani said the company plans to earn revenue of Rs 1,000 billion by 2021-22. “We are in the race to clock Rs 2 billion by 2021 for the Future Consumer. By the time Big Bazaar reaches 450 stores, small formats would number 8,000 stores. So, if we have a turnover of over Rs 1,000 billion, 60 per cent would be from small format and the remaining from Big Bazaar,” Biyani said.

For the company’s string of services, customers can pay via its Future Wallet.

The company has set aside Rs 1 billion for investment in technology and has set up a data lab C&D Lab in Bengaluru for the purpose. “There is going to be millions of dollars worth of investment in technology. It is going to be an ongoing process. It is a journey and we were never short on technology. Online players do not know anything other than technology. But we know both,” Biyani said. The gruop has over 100 engineers in the lab as of now but it is going to set up a data lab in the Bay Area so that it can work more extensively on technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The company claims that by 2027, it will have 9,000 small format stores. Bullish on the fashion segment, the company believes that its two standalone fashion retail format stores Central and Brand Factory are becoming really big.

Its economically priced brand FBB is the sixth largest brand in the world in terms of volume, the company said. Brand Factory plans to touch 300 stores in the next four to five years.

Future Enterprises’ standalone net loss widened to Rs 467.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2018. The company had posted a net loss of Rs 393.4 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.

Future Enterprises Ltd’s (FEL’s) total income stood at Rs 953.05 crore in the quarter under review. It was Rs 984.97 crore in the year-ago period, the company said in a BSE filing. The company said revenue from operations (which is part of total income) for the current periods are not comparable with the corresponding earlier periods.

“Revenue from operations for the quarter…was reported inclusive of excise duty. Goods and service tax (GST) was implemented with effect from July 1, 2017, which replaced excise duty and other input taxes,” it added.

In a separate filing, the company said its board approved raising up to Rs 1,500 crore via secured redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in one or more tranches within a year, subject to approval by the members. The company said it will use proceeds to “replace few of its high-cost current or near-term maturity debts as well as to meet further funds requirements”.

Shares of the company settled 0.52 per cent higher at Rs 38.40 on BSE.

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