Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2023 highlights strategies for navigating economic crisis in retail sector

The Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), the apex body of organised retail in Sri Lanka, recently concluded the annual Sri Lanka Retail Forum under the theme ‘Redefining Retail: Future Proofing the Forward Journey’.

The Forum was opened by Mr. Murali Prakash, President of SLRA, who addressed the importance of navigating the challenges faced by the retail industry and the imperative need to foster constructive dialogue by multiple experts from varying fields in the retails sector, on leveraging emerging trends, technology and navigating the prevailing economic crisis.

Mr. Ganaka Herath, Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in Sri Lanka, who was the Guest Speaker at the Forum, spoke extensively about macro-economic trends, impacts of the various economic shocks on the industry and what the future could hold for retail sector.

As the retail sector is one of the most impacted by the prevailing crisis, the Forum was designed and implemented to facilitate urgent dialogue on leveraging all plausible courses through current turbulent economic conditions.It also explored global macro trends and how they can be best utilised in a national context and saw multiple discussions on sustainable operations to help ensure industry stability and growth.

The first session of the Forum was a panel discussion under the theme of ‘Delivering Value in Inflationary Times’, which explored strategies such as pricing and managing consumer behaviour against a backdrop of the significant surge in living costs.

The second session of the Forum was a discussion under the theme ‘Leveraging Tech for Retail Excellence’ which looked at how the national retail industry and global trends such as technology and applications can help influence and improve marketing, talent, and service delivery.

The third component of the Forum was arapid-fire session with panellists from various sectors of the retail industry who shared experiences and insights garnered during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed.

The fourth and final session of the Forum was a chat with a panel of experts, on the future of retail in Sri Lanka and delved into insightful topics and helped create a possible roadmap for the future and sustainability of the Sri Lankan retail industry.

The Sri Lanka Retailers Forum 2023 also consisted of multiple sponsors and event partners, including John KeellsHoldins PLC as Platinum Sponsor, and Abans PLC as Gold Sponsor. Bronze Sponsors included Damro, DSI, Healthguard Pharmacy, Singer Sri Lanka, Unilever, Union Assurance PLC, and Online Shopping Partner Daraz. Event Partners included The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Bata, Celcius, Dankotuwa, Hameedia, Nestle Lanka, SPAR Supermarkets, and Insight Partner Breakthrough Intelligence. Digital Banners were provided by Perera & Sons and Ceylon Biscuits limited.

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