Career and Job opportunities in Retail Sector
In India retailing may be a new concept, but it is on a rise due to increased consumption of the consumers on account of rising incomes, growth in nuclear families and increased exposure to foreign products. These changes are having a positive impact, leading to rapid growth in the retailing industry. At world level, retail market is doing turnover of more than 7.2 Trillion Dollar. In India, an annual turnover of retail business is nearly 180 billion dollar. It is expected that retail market will grow at 12% to 15% annually. In India, after agriculture sector, the dependency for in this sector is at number two. In coming 4 to 5 years near about 15 to 20 lakhs of people can get a job as per the experts’ observation.
The country’s retail market totalling US$330 billion is vastly under served and has grown by 10 per cent on average over the past five years. It is also one of the most fragmented retail markets in the world-the combined market share of the top five retailers totals less than two percent. It is estimated that it will be Rs. 14, 00,000 crore industry employing more than 8, 00,000 professionals by 2010. As the organized retail trade in India is, however, growing at 30 percent an d is likely to grow up to 50 percent within four to five years. It indicates that potential for market expansion is rather high. It also indicates that job opportunity in this sector is not restricted to only mall or factory outlet but also in the areas like preparation of sales planning, sales layout location plan of malls. Top retail companies are looking for Store Managers, Merchandisers, Mall Managers, Store Operations Staff, Finance Executives, Customer Care Associates and others. If youngsters are looking for jobs in retail sector, this is the time to move on as opportunities are ample across locations and levels.
Chains of Big Bazar, LifeStyle, Pantaloon, Westside, Vishal Mega Mart, Mc Donald, Pizza Hut, Dominos etc. are expanding day by day in Indian markets. Therefore, there is a great demand of different types of trained human resource. The demand for such human resource is not only demanded by big metro cities but also by smaller towns. Young talent has lot of scope in retail marketing right from a person educated in higher secondary to post graduation at different levels of retail marketing organization
Organized and Unorganized Retailers
How about the potential job loss in local kirana? True, small retail stores are an important source of jobs, providing about 7 percent of the total employment in India. Moreover, they are providers of employment of the last resort. Anyone without a job can set up a local retail outlet. However, India is not an integrated homogeneous market it is a hierarchy of markets catering to people of many different income levels and tastes. For example, both Sony and Santosh can coexist, catering to market segments
Entry of sophisticated branded products affects the unbranded mass market only marginally in a vast poor country such as India. Moreover, in malls where the large retail chains set up their stores typically, there will also be many small shops, which will attract people.
Further, the street-corner shops will have some advantages over big stores located many miles away in shopping plazas. In India, transportation and parking are big problems for people who want to visit shopping malls. These shops score-over the supermarket by offering fresher products larger variety of foods greater personal attention but the supermarket has its own advantages, especially of scale. Also it allows consumers to shop for everything under one roof.
Even in rich nations small traders manage to compete very effectively with supermarket chains. In London, also every “corner shop” is owned by an Indian. We are the shopkeepers to “a nation of shopkeepers”! It does not behove a nation of such splendid shopkeepers to fear foreign supermarkets.
Another common argument against opening up the retail sector to foreign investment is of job losses. Per se this may be true. But if one takes into account the job generated in a variety of connected and support activities like processing, construction, hardware, furnishing, packaging, data processing and management-supermarkets have a massive employment potential.
As for monopolistic pricing practices, the best safeguard would be permitting all global chains to set up shops. The competition among them (as has happened in the automobile industry) would ensure better prices for consumers and suppliers alike.
The supporters of FDI in retail see many advantages. The biggest benefit according to them would flow from higher exports. They point to the Chinese experience. The global retailers taken together buy about $60 billion of goods each year from China for exports. Contrast this with India where less than $1 billion of exports are accounted for by global retailers (mostly metro dairy farm). Clearly, the scope of exports through the global retailers is enormous, indeed.
The benefits from greater exports would be particularly, high in the farm sector. Right now, there is a tremendous amount of wastage and value loss of agriculture products due to lack of storage, refrigeration, transportation and processing facilities. As a result, farmers’ price realization remains low, while the consumers in the cities end up paying a high price. Given the fiscal problems of the government, it is too much to expect it to build the required infrastructure.
To the extent the large retailers establish a direct linkage with the farmers by cutting out many layers of middlemen, develop the processing facilities and export the products to meet their global requirements, farmers would get better prices and bigger markets while the consumers would benefit in terms of lower prices, better quality and greater variety. The resultant rural prosperity may open up markets for other industrial goods and help a more balanced regional development as also job creation in other sectors.
Similar gains would flow from higher exports when the global chains are allowed in other sectors such as readymade garments. As for monopolistic pricing practices, the best safeguard would be in permitting all global chains to set up shops. The competition among them (as has happened in the automobile industry) would ensure better prices for consumers and suppliers alike.
Thus, the benefits from higher exports are likely to offset any direct job loss in the local Kiranas as result of competition from big global retailers. Anyway, if the domestic big players were allowed to operate, the job loss problem for the small shops would remain, while the benefits from larger exports would not be there. So, clearly if big players are to be permitted in retail, this much extent to FDI. Otherwise, the full range of benefits will not be realized.
Dr. P.M. Navghare
Faculty of Commerce