Goods that are produced or manufactured have to reach the ultimate consumers and retailing is the process through which it is done. Retailing comes at the end of the supply chain and the goods reach the consumers for their final use. Gone are the days when retailing was confined only to a local kiryana store or a small shop or kiosk or a boutique.
With the economy opening up, the face of retailing is undergoing a drastic and a vibrant change and fast catching up with the international standards.
According to a survey by A.T.Kearney Indian retail industry is one the biggest in the world with a sales of around $7.2 trillion and places India 6th in the Global Retail Development Index. According to CII, the organized retailing is expected to touch Rs. 1,10,000 crore by 2010. It is further expected this sector would provide employment to around 12,50,000 people in the next 5 years as more and more new Shopping Malls would be set up with each Mall requiring 5000 persons of various skills. So the Indian retail saga is all set to unfold and ready to reap the benefits.
Types of Retailing
There are three major types of retailing:
- Market: It is a physical location where buyers and sellers get together to buy or sell a product. It mainly involves temporary structures or stalls, known as Mandi, Haat.
- Shops: This may include counter service or self-service.
- Virtual markets: Here products are ordered via Mail, Online or on Telephone.
Nature of Work
This sector offers a plethora of career opportunities. With the Shopping-Mall culture on rise the whole style of shopping is witnessing a drastic and stimulating change. Retailers require skilled and professional personnel to meet the growing demand. One can choose a job from the diverse range of occupations in the retail sector.
- Sales Personnel: This is the backbone of a retail sector and sales personnels have the responsibility to understand the customers requirement, hold the customers interest and help them buy the product which is the best match of customer's requirement and what is available in the store. They have the responsibility of creating a right atmosphere for the customers to return to their stores. Graduates in any discipline can opt for this post.
- Store Managers: They have the responsibility of managing the store and keep an eye on the performance of the sales department. They have to set sales and profit targets and have to achieve them. Graduates with one or two years of experience are preferred for this kind of job.
- Retail Managers: They look after the level of the stock and order for the new stocks in the store and prepare merchandise layouts. They understand the consumption pattern and preferences of the consumers, thereby manage the supply chain apart from keeping the records of all financial transaction of the store. Individuals with an MBA degree with one or two years of experience are suited for this job.
- Visual Merchandisers: They give a kind of design or a new face to the retail business and act as Brand Managers. They should have an eye for detail and should be able to attract the consumers to the store.
- Supply Chain Distributors and Logistics and Warehouse Managers: Their job includes sourcing and procurement, customer service, inventory management, demand/supply planning, material handling, order fulfillment etc.
- Product Development Managers: They are entrusted with the task of creating merchandise, developing marketing plans and work with designers to give final shape to the product. Experience matters lot in this field too.
- Retail Buyers: They take into consideration the specific consumer requirements and help in maintaining variety in products and proper raw materials. Selection of merchandise and buying of goods is one of their responsibilities. They can become store managers, product developers, merchandise managers and planners. Graduates with some experience can fit well into this job.
- Cool temperament and a pleasing personality
- Good communication skill
- Positive attitude
- Organizational skills
- Leadership qualities
- Dynamism and stamina to work for long hours
- Ability to take judgments
- Analytical and a calculative mind
- Ability to handle critical situation without getting panicky
- Tactful and diplomatic attitude
There are courses like:
- Retail Entrepreneurship
- Retail Buying and Merchandising
- Store Operation Management
- Retail Marketing and Customer Relationship Management
- Visual Merchandising and Space Planning
- Supply Chain Management
Various issues related to this subject are taught here like location, assortment, positioning of store, customer service, store management etc. Large retail outlets have their own training programs.
The apex body in retail sector in India, Retail Association of India (RAI), has started online program in retailing to train people to work in this sector. It has an e-portal in collaboration with Gurukul Online Learning Solutions, which also provides essential information regarding this sector.
The area of study of these courses include the following subjects:
- Strategic Retail Management
- Challenges and Opportunities
- Salient aspects of managing retail businesses. This includes:
- Category Management
- Supply Chain and Inventory Management
- Merchandising and promotions
- Location and store design decisions
- Technology integration for high performance
- Understanding the retail customer and their value expectations
- Retailing through selected global best practice cases
- Emerging retail business scenario and challenges ahead
- Strategic planning in retailing
- Classifying retail organizations by ownership, store based strategy mix, etc.
- Identifying and understanding retail customers
- Trading area analysis and site selection
- Store design
- Financial and operational dimensions of retail operations
- Developing and implementing merchandising plans
- Retail promotion strategy
- Human resource issues
- Relationship and loyalty building
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
- Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (IILM) offers a two-year full time course in retail management with Pantaloon Retail India Limited.
Institute for Integrated Learning in Management 16, Knowledge Park-II, Greater Noida - 201 306 Website: www.igsm.in
- Indian Retail School offers one year advanced programmes in Retail Management and Retail Entrepreneurship and two-year programme in Lifestyle Retailing
Address: Images Pearl Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Site 2, Pocket OCF, Sector C, Vasant Kunj. Nelson Mandela Road. Delhi - 110070.
- Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) offers 3-month weekend certificate courses for any graduates in any discipline. It also offers one-year post-graduate diploma courses in retail management as well.
Loyola Institute of Business Administration(LIBA), Loyola College Chennai
- Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad offers a 12-month full-time post-graduate certificate programme in retail communication management.
Address: Mudra Institute of Communications Shela Ahmedabad - 380005
- Welingkar Institute of Management, Centre for Retail Studies, Mumbai offers a variety of programmes in retail. These include:
- Professional Program in Retailing
- Diploma in Retail Management
- Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management
Address: L N Road Near Matunga Central Railway Station Matunga East Mumbai.
- K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai offers a Diploma in Retail Management.
Address: K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Vidyanagar Vidyavihar
- Delhi University also offers a graduation degree in retail management (www.du.ac.in)
One can specialize as Retail Manager, Store Development Manager, Product Developer, and Floor Manager. For all this one needs to have an M.B.A or equivalent degree or Post-Graduate Diploma in Retail management.
One should be a graduate from a recognized Indian University (preferably in marketing coupled with knowledge like apparel manufacturing, shoe and leather goods, designing, product packaging which will be an added advantage). One should be good at handling computers and should have sound knowledge of accounting and inventory management. People with academic background of fashion technology, marketing, finance management, supply chain management, HR, customer service and advertising also have good prospects in this industry. For some specific posts like supervisors one needs to have a Postgraduate Degree/Diploma in Retail Management from a recognized Indian University.
Salaries at the entry level range from Rs 75,000 to Rs 100,000 per annum which can go up to Rs 200,000 - Rs 250,000 in one or two years. MBA's from a reputed B-school can earn around Rs.600,00 per annum while others can earn around Rs. 300,000 to Rs 400,000 per annum. But the actual amount received and its hike depends on the performance of the individual.