Transforming Culture Through Leadership Behaviours Change – Retail Major

Case Study Abstract

A well – known global hyper market chain, which prided itself on being a cooperative of all independent retailers and wholesalers came to India in 2014, with a vision to create around 5,00,000 square feet of retail space in 3 years. Their focus primarily was hypermarket customers which fell, into the family consumption groups with both value as well as aspirational needs. They ranged from the affluent segments to the pure value-seeking segments. The majority of their customers belonged to the 25+ age demographic.

The mission of the organization was to be a hypermarket chain, recognized for its value and differentiation in product categories and a superior customer experience. The organization was looking eagerly at, expanding within the hypermarket space, based on a deep understanding of the customer’s evolving shopping trends, understanding where the gaps are and in which categories, and then recreating an experiential destination that did not exist at that point of time.

The organization was known for opening one or two stores in a year and at this point of time was looking at adding 5 – 6 new stores on the large hypermarket format. This in fact was a quantum leap from the incremental growth that the organization was accustomed to, in the past and this required preparation in many areas.

The organization inherited a culture that fostered, many dysfunctional leadership traits such as lack of accountability, prolonging the resolution of issues, a desire to come to a quick consensus signified by false agreements and group think, and a tendency to operate from their own role boundaries.

The key area that the organization chose to focus on was “moving towards creating a Leadership culture” that focused on “concern, care, openness and ownership” towards both internal and external stakeholders. It was essential for the Organization to focus on this as they were planning to dish out an experience that customers had not experienced in the past.


  • A clear pool of home-grown leaders ready to take on new roles. 22% of leadership roles required as a result of the envisaged expansion, was generated from within the talent pool.
  • The organization was able to achieve its expansion target with 100% stores opening on time within 18 months.
  • Internal cross functional turn arounds also saw dramatic improvements to the tune of around 56% which contributed in a big way of ensuring on time store openings and superior experience.
  • Increase of retail selling space offered by the Organization by 50% in 24 months.

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