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FIRST awards 13 retailers from South India for phy-gital excellence

FIRST honors 13 retailers from Southern India for achieving phy-gital excellence


FIRST awards 13 retailers from South India for phy-gital excellence

FIRST, the Forum for Internet Retailers, Sellers, and Traders, recently launched at an event in Delhi by MSME Minister Shri Narayan Rane, announced the winners of the first-of-their-kind seller awards. Dr. J.U. Chandrakala, IAS, Director, Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute, Department of MSME, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Mr. K. Mariappan, President, Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (TANSTIA), and Mr. Krishna Gupta, Chairman and National President, Federation of All India Distributors Association, among others, attended the award ceremony.

The ‘Best Sellers of India Awards – Recognizing Phygital Excellence in Southern India’ recognised the outstanding achievements of 13 retailers who successfully adopted a combination of in-store and online retail sales by leveraging the latest technologies, credit facilities, and digital solutions to offer the best possible deals while receiving 1800+ nominations from across six South Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Goa. This included retailers from the Food & Beverage, Fashion & Apparels, Jewellery, Furniture, Grocery, Home & Kitchen, Electronics, and Lifestyle categories. The awards also recognised three special category winners: Best Fintech User of the Year, Best OmniChannel Store of the Year, and Best Smart Store of the Year.

“It is our pleasure to honour these exceptional retailers who are revolutionizing the shopping experience for customers through ambivalent solutions. We wish to provide all the support they need in their journey ahead and look forward to how they set an example for millions of others in their industries,” said Mr. Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum (ISF).

Mr. Girish Krishnan, Director, Amazon Pay Rewards & Merchant Services, said, “It is heartening to see how traditional retailers have embraced technology to transform their businesses. We are humbled to see thousands of sellers across India adopt the Amazon Pay  Smart Store program that offers the widest range affordability options such as no cost EMI, instant discounts, and best in-store payment experience, enabling higher footfall, conversion and sales. We remain deeply committed to building innovative solutions to serve and empower offline local retailers.”

“It’s inspiring to see businesses evolving with time. Fear stops people from innovating but it’s good to see entrepreneurs here who have transcended traditional restrictions to adopt hybrid solutions to further their business.” Dr. Aruna Sharma, Retd. IAS and Secretary General, FIRST, said, “We, at FIRST, take immense pride in the success stories of these retailers. Through these inspirational stories, our aim is to encourage more businesses to leverage digital solutions, helping them become self-reliant and sustainable,” said Mr. Prahlad Kakar, Brand Guru and Chairman, India SME Forum.

A panel of jury members comprised of eminent dignitaries judged the awards. They included Mr. Amar Patnaik, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Dr. Aruna Sharma, Retd. IAS, Former Secretary to the Government of India and Secretary General, FIRST, Mr. Dhanendra Kumar, IAS, Former Chairman CCI, Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, IAS, Former Secretary, DPIIT, Mr. Prahlad Kakar, Chairman, India SME Forum, Mr. TK Arun, Editor, The Economic Times, Ms. Shriti Malhotra, CEO, Quest Retail, The Body Shop, Mr. Prashant Lohia, Managing Director, Ginesys, Mr. Nandakumar G. W., General Manager & Business Head MSME, South Indian Bank, and Mr. Harish Kohli, President & Managing Director, Acer India, and Mr. Vinod Kumar.

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