Travel Retail Question Time: Ramesh Cidambi Part 2

By Luke Barras-hill |

Travel-Retail-Question-Time-Ramesh-Cidambi-DDF-leadIn the second of a two-part interview of the first Travel Retail Question Time video series, sponsored by Nestlé International Travel Retail, Dubai Duty Free Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Cidambi addresses directly the challenges facing smaller brands jostling for a share of voice in a crowded market.

[Click below to watch the video interview]

Tellingly, Cidambi revealed to TRBusiness that out of approximately 2,000 brands listed by DDF, the top 100 account for roughly 60-62% of its turnover, with 150+ contributing another 15%.

In effect, this means 75% of DDF’s turnover is accounted for by 250-275 brands, with the remainder of the 2,000 competing for a less than 20% share of total sales.

“Whether you are in domestic or travel retail, the industry has to accept that certain brands are extremely strong and that certain brands dominate the retail landscape,” Cidambi stated.


In a frank and candid interview, the DDF COO discusses the potential for brands to express themselves through custom fit-outs or semi-permanent store fixtures.

While DDF continues to offer new opportunities to new and undiscovered brands, Cidambi admits that competition for fixed space will continue to be fierce.

He also touches on the role of F&B in DDF’s plans and reflects on how 2018 has provided a yardstick for future corporate growth.

For the uninitiated, Travel Retail Question Time is an entirely new video series and unique forum that allows TRBusiness readers the chance to put questions to a senior-ranking industry executive from one of the globe’s leading duty free and travel retail operators.

The format is simple: Readers submit their questions, the top 10 of which are shortlisted. These are then published online and voted on by the industry, with the leading five put to our selected interviewee.

To view Part 1 of the interview with Ramesh Cidambi, click here.

Watch out for the July issue of TRBusiness for the full part 2 interview.

Stewart Dryburgh, Nestlé International Travel Retail General Manager, tells readers (below) why the company believes so strongly in this new video interview format.


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