An exclusive interview with Adnan Hamid-CEO Alpha

An exclusive interview with Adnan Hamid - CEO Alpha

Profile: Adnan Hamid

Adnan Hamid is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Limestone PVT LTD (Alpha).  He has completed his MBA in Accounting and Finance from North West London (2003-2004).

He has worked with different international and local companies at senior positions, including Chief Executive Officer Aghas Pvt. Ltd,General Manager – Pakistan Debenhams, General Manager Trading Wal-Mart Asda UK, Head Of Retail Dawlance Group of Companies, General Manager Opertions Makro Cash & Carry and Senior Duty Manager Marks and Spencer, Duty Manager Sainsburys. His area of expertise is Retail Business Management.

Following are the questions and their answers of exclusive interview, conducted by Live Rostrum:

Our readers would like to know about yourself and your company ALPHA Super Market.

We have launched Alpha Super Market, which is our local brand, four months back. At that time the Tesco Joint venture joined us.  Bringing Tesco, the biggest retailer in Europe and the second biggest of the world, is a long and vigilant process involving due diligence, personal KYC, business due diligence, examination of process and procedures, staff handling, retail expertise and retail environment, we are working on it for last one year. We are hopeful that in the first month of 2017, we will able to launch TESCO in Pakistan.

I have worked in international markets with brands like Mark & Spenser, Walmart Asda UK, Debenhams, Sainsbury’s et al. In Pakistan, I was GM Operations Makro. On the basis of my expertise, especially in retail management, Tesco agreed to join us. They always invest in people.

Could you briefly elaborate the TESCO brand?

Tesco PLC is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer with headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. It is the third largest retailer in the world measured by profits and fifth-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues. It has stores in 12 countries across Asia and Europe and is the grocery market leader in the UK (where it has a market share of around 28.4%), Ireland, Hungary, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Why have you launched Alpha brand before the launch of Tesco products at your store?

Alpha existence was necessary before the launch of Tesco products in our store, as we like to develop our local brand ALPHA, as well. Our local brand could dilute, if we wait till the launch of TESCO products at our store. Ultimately, the store name will be Tesco Exclusively at Alpha, just like the practice in international markets.

Tesco products have already started moving to us. We are expecting they will reach us by mid of January- at that time, we will launch TESCO officially in collaboration with the Alpha.

Is the Tesco competitive edge of Alpha?

Tesco will be the compelling reason for consumers to visit Alpha on regular basis. It’s a competitive edge for us. Tesco has three categories of products. First is EVERDAY, especially catered for masses, which is very competitive in terms of prices.  Second, is Tesco BETTER, for a high and mass market for ‘B plus’ customers. The third category is Tesco FINEST, for ‘A’ and ‘A-plus’ category customers.

For reaching any retail market, you should have some destination products or compelling reasons. Tesco is offering an exclusive range of its products to its consumers, which will not be available in any other store and this range will be present on a consistent basis, as we are following proper supply chain mechanism.

At present, the commercial importers visit different parts of the world and bring products to Pakistan. When they visit there next time and do not find that product, they bring some other products. In this situation, the brand loyalty of the consumer does not develop. Tesco will develop the consumer’s loyalty, as they will find the similar products on consistent basis.

We have witnessed a lot of your CSR activities. Are you very much focused on such activities?

It is very important for a business entity to support its community. ALPHA has allocated a specific quota of jobs for the physically challenged children. Being a Pakistan citizen, it is our responsibility to work for the betterment of our country. It is not the TESCO policy but it’s our group policy to do community welfare work.

Do you have any particular domain of CSR activities?

We have not identified a specific area for CRS activities. We are trying to evaluate the places, where there are needs to promote and assist people. We do not want to engage any financial benefits through these activities.

Community work of any organisation enhanced its respect in the society.

What will be your target market?

Our concept is very simple: we will open four flagship stores in Pakistan; two in Karachi and one each in Lahore and Islamabad, at an area of around 25,000 square feet. Besides, in coming three years, we will open 50 express stores, of around 2000 to 3000 square feet area, with the name of Tesco Exclusive at Alpha Express. In these stores, the range and pricing will be in accordance with the demographic condition of that area.

Before the venture of starting a business, have you done any market research?

Is the business condition in the country feasible to start a new venture?

Pakistan total population is more than 22 crores; leave 90 per cent and target only 10 per cent which is around 2.3 crores (which is half of the total population of UK). The UK has 1200 Tesco Stores, besides others big stores to cater their population need.  In Pakistan, if you able to cater 10 to 15 per cent of its population; its more than enough to expand your business.

In Pakistan, especially in Karachi, new big malls are being constructed. The existing local businessmen in retails are doing good. After CPEC, the local market will further improve.

Are you going to collaborate with the local brand?

As per our agreement with TESCO, we will not collaborate with the local brand and our exclusive collaboration will be with the TESCO only.

We are going to open 50 Express store all over the city, including North Nazimabad, Gulberg, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Buffer zone, North Karachi, Ayesha Manzil, Laloo Khet, KDA Chowrangi, Saddar, and PIB Colony et al.

Which product category is your strength?

We are very competitive in children’s toys range. Pharmacy, Perfume & Cosmetic, Cigars, Travel Luggage, Grocery & Meat shop, powered by TATA with a money back guarantee, Bakery, Crockery, Butter & Cheese section, Frozen Food complete range, from international & local brands is our strength.

The whole idea is that when the customer enters in our store, he gets everything under one roof in a nice environment. We want to provide an exciting environment to our customer, where they enjoy shopping. He feels good, when he enters in ALPHA. We are going to develop an environment which works as a therapy for a customer. A store should have a nice fragrance, good music; salespersons should be presentable- smiling and interactive with customers. In Pakistan, people don’t enjoy while shopping, we want to change customer’s experience of shopping.

In today’s age, the online shopping trend is increasing all over the world.  How you coup up with this trend?

We are working with four online companies. We have signed an agreement with Yavoo (all delivery will be powered by ALPHA). The other companies include EASYDAAM.COM, WELL.PK (our own company) and WELL.PK for short orders. You could order even bread and egg with its Smartphone Apps that will be delivered at your doorstep.

We are already working on Virtual Apps Store, by which a customer could see and move in our whole store, using its smartphone, and could select products and put in his basket. We are working on it and in two to three months, we will launch this App.

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