Raghu Pillai, pioneer of Indian retailing passes awayMonday, 11 April 2011
Future Group is still trying to cope with his sudden death. As Future Group Chairman Kishore Biyani says, "Raghu entered modern retail industry even before me, making him almost a father figure of modern retail. He was a people's person and one of the most emotionally matured leader in the group." Biyani says the organization is coming to terms with this huge loss. “I had known him for the last 15-20 years. It was not only at the professional level but our families are friends too. I remember we went to the US together while he was at Spencer's for a retail study trip. Since then, we have known each other. It is shocking because Raghu was a people's person and so warm as a human being. He was in the executive board and leading new business strategies for the group. His leadership will be missed thoroughly,” Biyani adds. Pillai was not only providing leadership to the multiple businesses of the group in value retailing but also in rural retailing.
Agrees Bijou Kurien, President, Reliance Retail Lifestyle who avers Pillai was a complete go getter and extremely positive about his attitude in all aspect of life, be it business or any personal engagement. Pillai was a firm believer in the Indian story. He often said that customers were ready for new experiments, a belief that was translated into action, given the manner in which companies like Future Group and Reliance have expanded their horizon.