What would you do when you go to a retail store? You shop for your products, pay the bill and leave. But very few of us know what goes at the back end to provide the consumer with a smooth shopping experience. This is what we exactly do at the Planet-I shop (fondly known as PI-shop of IIM Indore), a student run retail outlet under the aegis of Merchand-I club. “Bringing Life to Planet I”, is the motto of PI shop which represents the club’s aim of serving the IIM Indore community by providing basic amenities. We sell a wide range of products from personal care to food and beverages.
The entrepreneurial journey of the club started with the Pi-shop in the month of July, 2008 in a small space with limited operations. Since then, the club has grown in size and the scale of operations has also expanded by adding bakery items and stationery to the list. The transactions are computerised and the club members perform the POS transactions. This is where we learn a lot of things and apply the theory taught in class into practice. We get to know about a plethora of organizational concepts like consumer behaviour, stocking the shelves in order to achieve more visibility, maintaining the inventory levels of various products and holding safety stock, negotiating with wholesalers, etc. Financial theory is also put into practice by preparing quarterly balance sheets and income statements and reviewing daily cash flows. The club also employs two dedicated store personnel to support daily operations.
Apart from shop operations, the club is also involved in various merchandising activities – be it customised T-shirts, mugs, books or whatever. It also brings bulk deals to campus by partnering with prominent food chains namely KFC, McDonalds, Subway, Faasos, etc. The members of the club constantly exert their efforts to serve the community in a better way and I am personally privileged to be a part of this legendary club.
About the author:
Ravi Kiran is the second year student and Senior Member of Merchand-I club at IIM Indore.