16th December 2023, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 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. 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 is important, and indeed essential, as this is the sector that sees the most interaction between us as consumers and the millions of products and services that we seek daily. No other sector comes close, which underlines the importance of sustainability in retail.

Mr Suresh Kumar, Chairman IBPC, welcomed the gathering and in his key note address narrated about digital transformation where sustainability is no longer simply an option, it is 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 will 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 is empowering retailers not only to optimize operations but also to champion sustainable practices that resonate with conscious consumers; it is a commitment to leveraging digital advancements for a greener, more responsible industry going forward

The Event was curated by 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 convenor of IBPC and Accounts head of Ajmal Perfumes.

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

Presenting the social economic facts and digital transformation, Dr. Sahitya mentioned the statistics that 83% of UAE consumers are more likely to shop with retailers that use technology to improve the customer experience he further highlighted the growth contribution of Dubai in 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 digital economy and going green and sustainable.

These thoughts were echoed by Prof. Adil Matin, President of WeTel Center for Sustainability followed by 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 the 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 has conducted over 70 events in 2023. This retail conclave promises to be a fitting final event as we approach the new year, informative, educative, and essential.

About Indian Business and Professional Council: Established in 2003, Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) Dubai is the oldest and largest organization of Indian businessmen and professionals. This knowledge-sharing and networking platform is the sole Indian business council recognized and regulated by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI/Dubai Chamber). IBPC aspires to sustain itself as a vibrant catalyst, promoting economic cooperation including trade, investments, and other economic and financial flows between the UAE and India as well as strengthening beneficial business relationships between UAE business entities and their Indian counterparts in the UAE and India across strategic sectors.


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