PROFILE

Venky Ramesh

AVP, Capgemini, Consumer Products, Retail & Distribution

Venky has over two decades of multi-disciplinary experience in the consumer goods and retail industry spanning across corporate strategy, supply chain, and sales. During his career, he has worked with 20+ CPG/Retail companies across home and personal care; health and beauty; food and beverage; pet care; and specialty segments, helping them win in the digital world through innovation strategy, experience design, design-led product engineering, digital consumer engagement, insights and so on. He closely follows, and actively writes about the digital trends disrupting the consumer industry.

  • VIEW ARTICLES
  • VIEW COMMENTS
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Is Athleta’s Canadian expansion a stretch for the Gap-owned chain?

    Geat point Lee. California has more population than all the provinces of Canada put together.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Can West Elm tap influencer buzz?

    I feel that the influencer marketing consumer is mostly Gen Z and the younger Millennials. I am not sure if that cohort is much into home decor yet. The older generation Millennials and Gen Xers are probably to be found on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Peacock!
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Is Athleta’s Canadian expansion a stretch for the Gap-owned chain?

    I believe it's the right move for Athleta to expand in Canada. The U.S. population is getting vaccinated quickly, which will result in a slowdown in athleisure sales in the country. On the other hand, the progress of vaccination has been much slower in Canada due to difficulties in procuring vaccine doses and a lack of vaccine manufacturing facilities. Canadians are expected to work from home much longer, and that would be a perfect opportunity for Athleta to introduce competition to Lululemon.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Lululemon to pilot ‘Like New’ clothing test

    The apparel industry seems to be in the limelight this month, with Nike announcing refurbished apparel, Stitchfix seeing a change in leadership, ThredUP going public, and H&M piloting lending their suits free of cost to interviewees to ace their interview. Lululemon better not be left out. I think the re-commerce model will drive a positive impact to the triple bottom line of the industry - with people getting cheaper access to good clothes, the planet gaining from lower manufacturing pollution (this needs to be offset by additional transportation we will see) and the profits rising due to higher margins in the re-commerce business.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    What goes into delivering a ‘wow’ shopping experience?

    In day-to-day life, we say wow when something far exceeds our expectations -- at a pleasant surprise. Likewise, if a retailer consistently provides a great customer experience, free shipping, easy returns, etc., customers will get used to it and still not feel wowed. Whether it is online or offline, retailers need to find ways to surprise customers and keep them excited about shopping at their store. Costco is a great example of a retailer that manages to drive that surprise by introducing new and interesting items with great regularity.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores?

    Pop-up stores, in general, are a great way to generate customer interest and drive engagement. I also think it can be a great tool for digitally native brands to solve their problem of "discoverability." They can drive trial and subscriptions in an offline world that can be seamlessly transferred back to the online world.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Family Dollar joins a crowded retail media marketplace

    With the pace at which retail-owned media business adoption is growing, CPG companies will soon realize that they have tons of duplicate data of the same consumer gathered from multiple retailers.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2021

    Will American consumers push back against higher grocery prices?

    Everytime a Lidl opens in a neighborhood, the local retailers slash their prices as much as 50 percent, as per a survey conducted by UNC. And they are expanding aggressively in the U.S. They are able to achieve lower prices through several human-centric designs, sourcing strategy, and private labels - none of that really impacting quality or service. With dollar stores and Lidl/Aldi kind of competition looming over their heads, retailers will be forced to find ways to lower their costs and absorb the increases or at least keep increases in check.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2021

    Target looks to elevate its ship-from-store operations

    While many of their peers are focusing on service (15-minute to two-hour delivery), Target seems to be focused on cost and efficiency, which is not bad per se. What they need to watch out for is they don’t lose market share to their competitors while chasing costs. I believe what the industry needs is a membership service like Amazon Prime or Walmart+ which allows the retailer to provide their best service with the customer paying for them.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2021

    Are you ready for the retailer-as-service revolution?

    We are in the experience economy where an experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event. It should be more aptly called as retail-as-an-experience which combines services, goods and immersive entertainment. That’s the future anyway.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Are DTC brands still primed for growth?

    If we talk about the digital native DTC companies, their products have a very high contributing margin, which is the key here IMO. Their marketing costs are disproportionately higher because they lack the scale- they are spending the dollars towards customer acquisition and retention. As for pricing, my humble opinion is that the DTCs are able to charge a premium because of their purpose-driven approach (e.g. Patagonia). I strongly believe that the crux of their problem is discoverability. That is why DTC brands like Harry's are now venturing into the retail channel to be discovered by more customers - while still driving repeat purchases through DTC.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Amazon aims to add best employer tag to its most customer centric reputation

    Let's not forget that, with over 1.3 million people working at Amazon, any disgruntled employee can propagate bad press to six other people in their network. Not exactly like viral transmission, but you get the picture. It probably makes more sense for Amazon to convert each of its employees into a brand ambassador.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Can omnichannel be as profitable for retailers as in-store sales?

    The unplanned boom of e-commerce last year left retailers scrambling to get in on the bandwagon with scant regards to cost. As the dust settles, they need to step back and redesign their end-to-end business process to cater to the new normal profitably. They will also need to develop their owned-media programs and membership programs to augment their bottom line.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Are DTC brands still primed for growth?

    While the DTC approach has many advantages like cutting out the middleman, developing direct customer relationships, offering testing grounds for new products, etc., the biggest challenge most of DTC brands face (especially the ones selling online) is that of discoverability. With so many DTC brands available in each category, who can remember all the names and websites to visit? What we need is a DTC marketplace -- but wait, isn't that why retailers came into being in the first place?
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    What will going to mostly full-time staff mean for Walmart’s stores?

    I have been shopping at my local Costco for over five years now, and I have hardly seen new faces. The employees always seem knowledgeable, happy, and eager to help. I am sure that by being able to keep their employees longer, they are able to derive higher productivity per employee and keep their costs low. Especially with the rise of online grocery, Walmart needs fewer employees in their stores than ever before - so it makes sense for them to retain them longer and pay them higher while still keeping costs low through higher productivity.

Contact Venky

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.