Making of Big Bazaar - one of the oldest and largest hypermarkets chain of India.
THE BIG QUESTION
Does liberalisation of a nation, naturally translate into the liberation for most of its people?
Make consumption a classless, democratic, socialistic inclusive force… a proposition even the ‘classes’ find irresistible.
Big Bazaar truly revolutionized Indian retail from its inception – 250+ stores in 120 cities across the country, it has proven to be a pioneer in using design thinking to create nuanced and relevant experience catered to the Indian audience.
Making of one of the oldest and largest hypermarkets chain of India.
Prologue: At the turn of the century a nation started to dream, ten years after the country had embarked on a journey. A journey undertaken to transform itself from a struggling BIG THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, to a developed nation. Liberalisation in its wake gave many more Indians the ‘license to dream’. Plus satellite television followed by mobile phones, internet, cars, air-travel, a new found mobility and upward mobility created a completely NEW REALITY.
But does LIBERALISATION of a nation, naturally translate into the LIBERATION for most of its people?
Big Bazaar genesis: Give to the ‘not so liberated’ only what the ‘liberated’ could afford!
Key insight & Design approach
Make consumption a classless, democratic, socialistic inclusive force… a proposition even the ‘classes’ find irresistible. This was the genesis of Big Bazaar.
A dream and a desire to create a new, novel, fresh, joyful, discovery laden, consumption culture for the masses.
One place where every Indian is welcome. Where every community, every occasion is celebrated. Where every day is Independence Day! Chaos, order, the modern Indian bazaar and the secular temple of consumption. Where familiarity by design, breeds contentment. A design system with depth and width. One place, where design is genuinely inclusive.
Big Bazaar was designed to connect some strong but often opposing ideals.
The branding & visual language was also the amalgamation of two opposing worlds - corporate & socialistic
The design was kept simple, clean and clutter-free with a material palette that balanced the warmth of hospitality spaces and the professionalism of a corporate environment.
Structurally, the modular design with ‘design kit-of-parts’ composition enabled minimal installation time for quick turn-around.
Minimal on-site design elements made retail rollouts easy and adaptable.
The Big Bazaar Experience was designed to reach the masses, upgrading the bazaar but not downgrading the hypermarket
Big Bazaar experience is based on the collectivist values of Indianess, designed around the principle of chaose, and Inspired by the colorful joyful, vibrant and discovery laden 'mela' and the great Indian bazaar.
Big Bazaar’s design was created to reach the masses. So we upgraded the bazaar and did not downgrade the hypermarket. Big Bazaar is a hypermarket that takes into account the Indian context. Which is why, it celebrates the country’s Republic Day as the Maha Savings Day - it takes the form of a national festival for Indian consumers.
Big Bazaar combines the look, touch and feel of Indian bazaars with the convenience, choice and hygiene of hypermarkets. It is designed as an agglomeration of mini-markets that offer over 200,000 SKUs across multiple categories.
The journey of Big Bazaar has been an iterative one
Idiom has been associated with the Big Bazaar brand for the last two decades. However, the journey of Big Bazaar has been an iterative one where we have constantly learned from the consumer and designed experiences that cater to their changing reality through incremental and major design variations.
One of the oldest and largest hypermarkets chain of India, Big Bazaar truly revolutionized Indian retail from its inception.
While its commercial success is evident through the bursting stores - 250+ stores in 120 cities - across the country, it has proven to be a pioneer in using design thinking to create nuanced and relevant experience catered to the Indian audience.
With a Harvard Business Case and a book written on it, it’s an uncanny combination of business and design success.