The Retailers Association of India in association with Pearl Academy of Fashion is reaching out to college students to show them the bigger retail picture.
— Photo: K.Ananthan
More detailed:People with skills are required in large numbers in various domains of retail from the front to
To bust the myth that retail is only about selling and to attract students towards the rapidly evolving retail management industry, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has come up with an interesting initiative. It has tied up with an institute to reach out to college students to make them aware of retail as an industry. With the retail sector slated to become the second highest employer only next to agriculture in the coming decade, the manpower requirement is expected to grow exponentially. Trade pundits put the figure at a whopping 100 million jobs in just the next two years which can be met only by mass recruitment at the entry levels.
With Pearl Academy of Fashion, which has campuses in Chennai, Delhi and Jaipur, as its knowledge partner, the RAI has come up with the Retail Talent Development Series. Under this, the academy will approach colleges which show interest, and conduct career opportunity seminars on retail industry.
It has so far held two seminars — one at D.G. Vaishnav College, Chennai, and the other at PSGR Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore. With an eye on the non-science stream students, the seminars provide a basic introduction to the industry and lays out the various components that make up the single entity called retail.
According to Sridhar Venkatesh, member of RAI and Chief Executive Officer of Maybell, though the industry is a very young one, its momentum that picked up post-2000 is expected to continue unabated. “Retail as an industry is not popular among the youth. It is viewed as a mere sales job. But retail is more detailed. The seminar series aims at providing a platform for students to get to know the various domains like product development, fashion designing, merchandising, accounting, branding, marketing and sales.”
“People with skills are required in large numbers in various domains of retail from the front to backend. At present the industry is providing its employees on-the-job training. But the ideal situation will be for graduates to undertake a one-year fundamental course in any aspect of retail before they enter the field. Through the seminars, we hope students will be able to understand the nuances of retail better and will be motivated to take up this specialisation to become industry-ready,” says Mr. Venkatesh. A major attraction in addition to the growth of the industry is seen in terms of the individual’s growth trajectory.
It is estimated that a person who enters the industry at 22 years of age will become a chief executive officer/vice-president in just 10 to 15 years of time. This is said to be impossible in any other industry.
The growth of the Indian retail industry has been 40 per cent in the last three years as against the 10 per cent growth of its counterparts. This is expected to continue with more focus on apparel and lifestyle segment, and in 2015 is likely to touch Rs. 39 lakh crore.
S. Ramalingam, Director of Pearl, says that graduates taking up postgraduate courses in merchandising, retailing or design will have an upper hand in the industry. Those who decide their career chart even while in Plus-Two have the option of taking up undergraduate courses (4-year) in fashion design or fashion business management. RAI and Pearl Academy representatives say that the seminars have been received very well by the participants.