The organised retail sector in India will require an additional 2 million professionals in two years reports Business Standard.
The Retail Association of India (RAI), which represents the country’s US$ 20 Billion (Rs 900 Billion) organised retail sector, estimates that the current personnel requirement at the front-end alone is about 1.25 million. It will go up to 3.25 million by 2008-09. According to RAI, the total employee base in the organised retail sector currently is one million and it expects that the current initiatives will produce another 1 to 1.5 million trained manpower by 2008. To meet the immediate manpower requirement, big retail houses such as Pantaloon, Wadhwan, Pyramid and Shoppers’ Stop, Lifestyle, Arrow, Landmark among others have initiated massive recruitments and the newcomers, including Reliance, Raymonds, Aditya Birla and a few other corporates, are also on an extensive head-hunt. In addition, existing retail companies Westside, Spinach,Oddisey, Depot are also looking for countrywide expansion in the next few years. However, the dearth of trained personnel and retail professionals in the country has just started.This has forced many retail houses to start inhouse training programmes as well as management courses with the support of RAI and various universities and business management schools.
While the existing majors like Future Group, Landmark and Pyramid have already joined hands with leading business management schools, the RAI has initiated a dozen new retail management and professional training programmes along with internships in large retail outlets. Gibson G Vedamani, CEO, RAI, said,”The modern retail in India would require more than 5,00,000 retail-ready employees for the retail ventures coming up in the next one year.” He added that in order to create such able human resources, the RAI has taken efforts to develop the right learnig and training modules at the entry level known as Professional Retailing Skills (PRS), and it has also tied up with Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) and Gurukul Online Learning Solutions for certain other professional retail training and management programmers. Since the RAI has also proposed the extension working hours with permission from the state governments, the manpower requirement would double from the current level due to different shifts in the major retail outlets. “Since the malls and supermarkets are all set to work in shifts, if they are allowed to operate 24/7, it will also result in creation of more employment opportunities in the retail sector,” says Vadamani.