The event was timely, coming as it did on the heels of COP 28, where a landmark UAE ‘Consensus on Climate Change’ was adopted by nearly 200 countries. Extending this to the retail sector was important, and indeed essential, as this was the sector that saw the most interaction between us as consumers and the millions of products and services that The Indian Business and Professional Council hosted its signature event, Retail Conclave 2023, at the Anantara Hotel Downtown on Thursday, 14 December 2023. The topic of the event was Digital Transformation and Sustainability in Retail. ॅe sought daily. No other sector came close, and that underlined the importance of sustainability in retail.

Suresh Kumar, Chairman IBPC, welcomed the gathering and in his keynote address narrated about digital transformation where sustainability was no longer simply an option; it was a strategic imperative for retail success.

H.E Shri Satish Kumar Sivan, Consul General of India in Dubai, addressed the conclave by emphasizing the intersection of digital innovation and sustainability that would determine the future of retail.

Special Guest of Honor, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Kindi, former UAE Minister of Environment and Water, addressed how Digital transformation empowered retailers not only to optimize operations but also to champion sustainable practices that resonated with conscious consumers; it was a commitment to leveraging digital advancements for a greener, more responsible industry going forward.

The Event was curated by the Retail and ecommerce focus group of IBPC Dubai, led by Dr. Sahitya Chaturvedi along with Shajan Abraham and Gautam Sengupta that acknowledged a significant representation of thought leaders of Retail, Supply Chain, Technology, Banks, Finance, and government sectors of India and UAE.

Representing the Indian diaspora, IBPC Dubai honored Dubai customs represented by H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation for Retail Facilitation in all the aspects of doing business in Dubai.

Thanking for the honor, Director General of Dubai customs mentioned the digital developments and benchmarking the quick and timely processing systems for ease of business. HE Ahmed Mahboob attended the full session and appreciated the panel discussion moderated by Dr. Sahitya Chaturvedi, the convener of IBPC and Accounts head of Ajmal Perfumes.

The conclave awarded the retail recognitions to the next[1]gen CEO of Ajmal Perfumes Group, Abdulla Ajmal, Chairman of the famous jewelry brand Joy Alukkas, and the director of LULU GROUP INTERNATIONAL for their pathbreaking work in the retail sector.

Presenting the socio-economic facts and digital transformation, Dr. Sahitya mentioned the statistics that 83% of UAE consumers were more likely to shop with retailers that use technology to improve the customer experience; he further highlighted the growth contribution of Dubai in the entire GCC and opportunities unveiled by D33, the vision of doubling the size of Dubai economy to AED 32 trillion with the growth drivers of the digital economy and going green and sustainable.

A panel discussion with very high senior officials from the retail industry, including Vikas Chadha, CEO, Jumbo Electronics; Rajiv Warrier, CEO, T Choithram & Sons; MVK Vijaykumar, Director for Digital Transformation at EY; Joseph Eapen, MEA Head at Asian Paints; Ashish Panjabi, COO, Jacky’s Electronics; Prateek Vahie, Chief Commercial Officer of WIO Bank who shed light on the challenges and benefits to organizations from their involvement in digital transformation, and also on imperatives and progress on sustainability in retail. Ably moderated by Dr. Sahitya Chaturvedi, IBPC Convener for Retail and eCommerce. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Gautam Sen Gupta, member of the Organizing Committee, expressing gratitude for the participation of speakers, panelists, the audience, and sponsors of the event. IBPC conducted over 70 events in 2023. This retail conclave promised to be a fitting final event as they approached the new year, informative, educative, and essential.

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