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Pantaloon to invest Rs100 crore in IT infrastructure news
Our Corporate Bureau
28 May 2005

Mumbai: Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited (PRIL) has unveiled an ambitious information technology roadmap for the group and has lined up investments of over Rs100 crore in IT in the next three years. The IT plan of the company is for its lifestyle and value retail businesses. Currently the company is growing at a rapid pace and to maintain its competitive edge, a complete IT infrastructure revamp has been embarked upon with the first step being a strategic partnership with SAP, the world's leading business software solutions provider.

To implement its ambitious plans, the company has entered into a strategic alliance with the SAP, world leader in business software solutions provider to implement its 'mySAP business suite', 'SAP advanced planning tool for merchandise planning' and 'SAP apparel & footwear solutions', which would be implemented across the organisation and have over 1,000 users. Today mySAP Business suite is considered the world's most comprehensive family of adaptive business solutions, providing best-of-breed functionality built for complete integration, industry-specific functionality, unlimited scalability, and easy collaboration over the internet.

According to Chinar Deshpande, Chief Information Officer, Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, said, "Today Pantaloon Retail is in an explosive growth path and the leading retailer in the country. To support this growth and maintain our competitive edge, a robust and futuristic IT infrastructure has been planned for the next three years with investments of over Rs100 crore."

"Our strategic partnership with SAP, a world leader in business software solutions provider is our first step in realising our IT vision. Surely, the new cutting edge IT infrastructure will help in serving our customers better, give us improved customer insights and add value to the business on the whole," he adds

As the precursor to this, PRIL has implemented a company wide virtual private network connecting all the stores, warehouses and offices. The network is capable of handling heavy traffic of data, voice and video. The company is in the process of building the capability of transmitting relay of all CCTVs at store to HO or zonal offices to get live feeds of store action. Also, there would be video conferencing capability between store managers and category teams at HO for highly personal and interactive discussions on anything from merchandise display to fast movers to innovative schemes for increased business.

As part of its second phase, the company plans to implement fully integrated transaction system (SAP) which would accumulate accurate real-time data as each of the key functions of the organisation performs their day-to-day operations. Some of the key areas covered would be merchandise management and procurement, manufacturing, supplier relationship management, supply chain management, warehousing and logistics, inventory management, store operations and customer management.

PRIL also plans to implement a data warehouse and a SAP business intelligence tool on top of the transaction data accumulated by the above systems. A set of advanced corporate planning tools such as forecasting and demand planning, budgeting and variance system, inventory planning systems, space planning system, promotions planning and analysis system, human resource management systems is also being put in place.

In order to improve visibility of this data across the value chain, PRIL will have a complete enterprise portal (a web based platform) integrated with the company's core transaction systems, which would provide common interactive interface platform to share information with all the stake holders including vendors, warehouses, stores, customers and share holders. The company's IT plans also include setting up supplier / customer / distributor / agents dashboards also.

The company has lined up an investment of over Rs100 crore for the IT infrastructure revamp in the next three years and the investments will be mainly in the areas hardware, software, business connectivity infrastructure (such as VPN, video conferencing etc.) and skilled IT manpower.
About Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited:

Pantaloon is one of the country's leading retailer's with headquarters in Mumbai and has presence in lifestyle retailing through 12 Pantaloons Stores and three Central Malls in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune respectively. In value retailing it is present through 16 Big Bazaar hypermarkets, 28 Food Bazaars and the newly opened Fashion Station. It has a national presence with over 1.8 million square feet of retail space across Kolkata, Mumbai, Baroda, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ghaziabad, Bhubaneshwar, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Chennai, Gurgaon (Delhi), Nashik, Durgapur and Thane.

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Pantaloon to invest Rs100 crore in IT infrastructure