Ami Katiyar Discusses inSourceAsia and monimedia

Ami Katiyar serves as the Senior Director of Business Development at Retail in Asia Advisory Services, a part of the inProjectsGroup Ltd., an umbrella organization that provides services to the hospitality, leisure, and retail industries. The company’s divisions include inProjects, VinaProjects, Genesys, monimedia, and inSourceAsia. In the following, Mr. Katiyar discusses inSourceAsia and monimedia.

inSourceAsia offers high-quality furnishings, equipment, and fittings to hospitality conglomerates that include Hyatt, Hilton Hotels, and Starwood. The firm has also worked with smaller specialty properties in Japan and China. As of 2010, the company had five employees.

Additionally, monimedia concentrates on integrated digital marketing. Located in Hong Kong, the company utilizes the latest technology to devise innovative marketing solutions and promote digital brands for retailers and consumers. The firm allows others to assess the value of its digital branding efforts through a series of measurable metrics.

About Ami Katiyar: An expert in growth strategy and international business development, Ami Katiyar provides a global perspective to assist a wide range of Fortune 500 businesses in boosting their revenue and improving their market position.

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Ami Katiyar on Services Provided by VinaProjects

A Senior Director at Retail in Asia Advisory Services, Ami Katiyar works with corporations to facilitate entry into new markets, especially when traditional ones have stagnated. A worldly individual, Ami Katiyar speaks multiple languages and possesses a number of distinctive qualities, including cultural fluency, executive maturity, and global growth experience. Part of the inProjectsGroup Ltd., Retail in Asia Advisory Services operates as a sister company to VinaProjects.

Based in Vietnam, VinaProjects provides real estate development services. The following list describes some of the company’s major offerings:

• Urban planning. This group assists with obtaining necessary government permits and interacting with local officials. Services provided include infrastructure planning, urban design studies, site appraisals, master plan preparation, and more.
• Technical services. To ensure the use of state-of-the-art technology, this group participates in construction projects beginning with the design phase. The team works to save costs and enhance quality. They conduct due diligence, analyze feasibility, and advise regarding asset disposal or investment.
• Project and construction management. This team oversees contracts and contractors, ensuring project success and quality. The group possesses the flexibility to work on larger projects that may involve collaboration of multiple project managers.

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Bombardier Aerospace: An Overview by Ami Katiyar

Through my work as a strategic analyst, I am proud to have been associated with Bombardier Aerospace, the world’s third largest builder of civil aircraft and the top supplier of regional and business aircraft. Headquartered in Montreal, Bombardier employs more than 33,000 people worldwide and reached sales of almost $9 billion in 2011. Since 1989, it has introduced twenty-eight new aircraft models.

Bombardier began in 1937 as a manufacturer of snowmobiles and later began to produce trains. Its aviation division opened in 1986 with the purchase of Canadair. Since then, it has manufactured both small and large business jets. The company also distributes the new Global Vision flight deck, which emphasizes ergonomic comfort.

With a commitment to corporate social responsibility, Bombardier’s J. Armand Bombardier Foundation has pledged millions of dollars to enhance community life, including projects as providing educational aid to children at risk, developing environmentally sound practices, and providing chances for young entrepreneurs to practice their skills. The company is also involved in efforts to reduce global warming.

About the Author:
An expert in growth strategy and international business development, Ami Katiyar uses a global perspective when helping a wide range of Fortune 500 businesses increase revenues and improve their market position.

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A Primer on Retail Growth in Asia – Why do it?

Growth and opportunity are used synonymously with Asia and its markets in almost every consumer-related sector.  Fast food chains like Yum! Brands (KFC, Taco Bell), convenience store outlets like 7-Eleven, discounters like Wal-Mart, consumer-packaged goods like Procter & Gamble or Unilever, premium brands like Ralph Lauren, and finally luxury goods retailers like Louis Vuitton or Prada – have all shifted their lion’s share of focus, growth targets, and revenue expectations onto Asia.

Category leaders, like Starbucks, have declared that a vast majority of their new retail store growth will occur in China outside of their core market (i.e. U.S.).  At an event in Beijing recognizing 40 years of growth, Starbucks CEO Schultz, expressed a common shared sentiment by other retail executives: “the growth in China [and Asia] will be dramatic….we [will] get to a point where there will be an equal number of stores in the U.S. and internationally.”

Three main factors drive this major shift in outlook can be seen as:

Factor 1 – Core Western markets are lagging

Traditional markets for consumer industries, chiefly U.S. and Western Europe, have suffered numerous setbacks from the 2008-9 recession – accentuated by plunging real estate value, closing of store locations, reliance of discount and value promotions to keep consumers interested – even by brands that traditionally never discounted, and bankruptcy of retailers (e.g. Circuit City in the U.S.) with only national presence, or weakening of outlook of retailers struggling at international expansion (e.g. Best Buy).

Compounding the effects of low levels of consumer confidence, has been the almost anemic growth rates of these markets this year (U.S.: 3% and EU: 1%) as well as projected 3-year rates.

In stark contrast, the landscape of Asia seems promising – luxury and retail growth is at full swing, and brands are consistently reporting not only strong revenues, but an increased share of their overall revenues from Asia.

Factor 2 – Growth in developing countries: a necessity not an option

Asia is no longer a “nice to have” option – for many retailers in the short-term Asia offers solid portfolio diversification.  With growth rates starting at 5 times that of their EU counterparts, markets in Asia can offer a respite for the balance sheets of retailers needing to counter the negative or stagnant outlook of the core markets.

In the longer term, the varied and diverse markets of Asia offer seemingly limitless growth potential – and any smart retailer is wanting to plant their presence and capitalize on the growth.

Despite all the recent rush this past decade by retailers to establish presence in China and India, those two markets continue to represent huge untapped markets with growth rates projected at 10 percent & 8 percent respectively.  Other emerging markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand offer additional growth prospects, and may present significant advantages to the retailers that take heed and increase their expansion plans to include these markets.  Last but not least, more developed markets in Asia – Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan – continue to serve as brand anchors for retailers, helping to stimulate consumer awareness, exposure, and demand throughout Asia.

A 2011 study by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) confirms that Asia is a key target for luxury brands, with many retailers opening in multiple locations and developing flagship stores to market their brand.  Asian cities featured strongly among the Top 10 cities for international retailers, with four cities in the ranking – Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, and Tokyo.   Hong Kong dominates the top spot at 84 percent luxury brand penetration.  That landscape just a decade earlier looked markedly different.

The varying degrees of market presence, expansion, and penetration plans allows for a retailer to optimize their portfolio and aim for different mixes of growth, market share, margin, and profitability.

Factor 3 – Timeliness of market entry

While several markets in Asia represent untapped potential for many years to come for retailers who have their market entry strategies right, the resources that enable the capitalization of such growth are not limitless.

An A.T. Kearney 2010 Global Retail Development Index study ranked time pressure as critical as the criteria of market attractiveness and market saturation, in determining the prioritization of a country for a retailer’s growth prospects.

The study further remarked that if retailers only think about markets when they actually open, then they are already late [to the drawing board].

Finite resources like prime real estate, reliable and proven business partners (in franchise and joint venture models), competent distributors and suppliers, become more scarce, difficult, and/or costly for brands that further delay their market entry into Asia.

Proceed…. but with care
Despite very encouraging prospects across all markets of Asia, retailers – and service providers catering to retailers – must at at a minimum:

Exercise careful strategy planning;
Fine-tune the business and operating model;
Ensure a cohesive branding and execution front;
Leverage the appropriate marketing channels;  and
Display a solid understanding of regional and local tastes & preferences in their sales and service

The fact that no one-size-fits-all approach will work across Asia, exacerbates the complexity of market entry in Asia.  Planning and attention must be done at each market level.  For all the ripe growth prospects in Asia, there are dozens of lessons learned from retailers who got it wrong.  However, the retailers and partners who get it right, evidence a successful foray into Asia – and are able to attain their growth targets, capture significant market share, and increase their overall profitability.

Stay tuned
This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the Asian Retail Industry – as well as its opportunities and challenges.
China and India: a deep-dive look into these 2 Asian giants
Luxury growth in Asia: a look at the unprecedented growth of the elite customer profile in Asia and the luxury retail sector that caters to them
Critical business model considerations for success in Asia
Review of retailer case studies and their market plans in Asia: informative outlook on which retailers got it right and which ones missed the boat


Ami Katiyar brings over 14 years of growth strategy experience, across a multitude of consumer industries, focused on generating revenue and market share.  Ami Katiyar has led global strategy efforts across luxury, retail, and hospitality sectors including Starwood Hotels, Levi Strauss, LVMH, and Bombardier.  At Retail in Asia, Ami Katiyar is dedicated to assisting global brands with market & partnership development, across the vital markets of Asia.

Retail in Asia Advisory Services assists global retail brands realize their market entry and/or expansion plans across Asia-Pacific, and manage their growth plans.  Retail in Asia is part of the InProjects Group, Limited which has helped global retail & luxury brands open over 50,000 stores across Asia in the past 10 years.

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