07 MARCH 2012, WednesdayThe Indian retail industry is one of the most dynamic and flourishing sectors of the Indian economy. Thus, it is no surprise that it holds lucrative opportunities for those willing to take on the challenge. SANGEETA YADAV brings you a report
With the advancement in technology and sprawling of several new shopping centres and malls, the whole concept of retail and shopping has grown manifold. According to industry insiders, if FDI is allowed even moderately, the fashion-related retail sector would provide 2 to 2.5 million jobs.
With the increase in purchasing power of people, India is predicted to be the fifth-largest consumer market by 2025 along with better education opportunities and explosion of e-commerce and general communication through social networking.
“The recent approval of 100 per cent FDI in single brand by the Indian government could also be a harbinger of good news for the job market. Around 0.6 million people are currently employed by the modern retail industry and this number would rise impressively even if the lifestyle market grows at a moderate rate of 7 to 7.5 per cent in the next five years,” says Somesh Singh, Jt Director, Institute of Apparel Management (IAM).
A research from the independent real estate consultancy firm CB Richard Ellis, India, confirmed that over six million square feet of mall space was added across India in the first six months of 2011. Such expansions will need trained people for front-end salesmanship retail services. By 2050, India will be the only labour surplus country among the large economies which will provide readily available manpower for the growth of the fashion segment.
This will also provide India a unique opportunity for the next 30-40 years which no other economy in the world has ever seen, with the exception of China. “Indian e-commerce industry is expected to grow to Rs1,07,800 crore by 2015 and around 50 per cent revenue is expected to come from e-tailing. E-tail is a fast moving segment and expected to grow by 139 per cent in 2012. Moreover, the trend of venturing into e-retailing is becoming viral.
E-retail sites like snapdeal.com, flipkart.com, dealsforyou.com, et al have made shopping easier and convenient. Companies that adopt cutting edge technology in order to improve their operations will be the leaders of tomorrow,” says Mohit Yadav, Co-Founder and CEO,Mangostreet.com.
Though there are ample opportunities in India, the industry abroad is not in a good shape. “Since the West is financially struggling, Asia now comes across as the most potential destination in the world for retail. Therefore, inclusive growth is what can be termed for retail now,” Singh says.
The retail sector is being pegged as the second most effective employment generator after agriculture. However, the sector is a challenging one. “Modern retailers demand a high magnitude of professionalism. The cut-throat competition and entrance of international brands is keeping the retailers on their toes. There are ongoing innovations for better customer management. Retailers are now multiplying their reach to reach consumers through the Internet, mobile and television,” says Gaurav Marya, President, Franchise India Holdings Ltd.
- Sales: Every retail shop is completely dependent on the sales. Sales associate, sales managers, department managers are some of the posts one can handle in this section.
- Store Manager: Store managers or general managers are responsible for managing the store, daily functioning, employee’s audit and they report to their area manager or the particular store’s owner.
- Retail Manager: The duty of a retail manager is to plan and coordinate the operations of the outlet. This involves the layout of merchandise, monitoring the retail orders and stock and analysing the supply.
- Retail Buyers and Merchandisers: They select and buy the goods for the retail shop. They are also known as market researchers.
- Visual Merchandisers: These people give the brand a face. Being a part of concept and design, one could also be a technical designer, product developer and store planner.
- Supply Chain Distributors: They deal with supplying or delivering goods to small outlets.
- Logistics & Warehouse Managers: They are responsible for storage of stock at the warehouses and maintaining the records of their expiry.
The aspirants must possess knowledge about good salesmanship, brand building and customer relationship management.
“Retailing is not just about selling or filling shelves. Being a people-oriented business, it is imperative that anybody interested in having a long stint in retail industry must have basic skills like good communication and a detailed product knowledge. They should have a smiling face with a positive attitude, leadership qualities, analysis and problem-solving skills,” says Dr Ritu Bajaj, Retail Management Professor , JIMS.
Candidates who have completed their 10+2 or its equivalent, can apply for certificate, diploma or Bachelors courses in Retail Management. The MBA in retail Management is more like a specialisation than general MBA.
Retailers Association of India (RAI), the first independent body of retailers in India, conducts a Common Admission Retail Test (CART) on national basis for admission to Postgraduate Programme in Retail Management (PGPRM) offered in 15 B-Schools across India. Candidates applying for CART must hold a Bachelors degree with 50 per cent marks. Final year students can also apply.
The courses can range from diploma, certification programmes or as post-graduation qualifications. It includes Visual Merchandising, Retail Buying, Retail Merchandising, Retail Entrepreneurship, Retail Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Space Planning Management, Store Operation Management, Strategic Fashion and Luxury Retailing and Customer Relationship Management.
The remuneration in the retail industry depends upon the company, nature of work and the area where you work. “The front-end staff (school passouts) start earning between Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 for a 12-hour job. Someone with a retail degree might start at Rs 10,000. Retail sector is highly rewarding in monetary terms as their pay package improves quickly.
WHERE TO STUDY
- Indian Retail School, Delhi
- Retailer Association of India, Mumbai
- Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai
- All IIMs offer an MBA in Retail Management
- Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi
- Institute of Apparel Management, Gurgaon.