Opportunities booming in Retail sector

The retail industry in India is booming like never before If doesn’t come as a surprise then that AT Keraney’s annual Global Retail Development index (GRDI) recognizes India as the most attractive retail investment market; it also finds a place the top five global retail destinations facilitated by factors like the increasing size of the middle class, rising incomes, and the boom in the real estate sector, leading it burgeoning malls, there is remarkable potential for growth and both Indian giant and multinational are swiftly cashing in on the opportunity. The industry is fast gaining attention as it is emerging as a promising sunrise industry just like IT and BPO.

With names like Pantaloons, Westside, Shoppers Stop, Big Bazar, Subiksha, Barista, CCD, Nike, Reebok, Reliance Retail, Shoprite, and Food land (to name some) ruling the market. If you are young, enterprising and good at marketing and love the mall culture you could calk a career in this sector.

With the retail sales expected to cross USD 400 billion by 2010, turning India into the biggest retail market in the world; this organized sector is poised to grow in coming years in a big way. Organized retailing as a professional service oriented sector is a new phenomenon in our country and in the cusp of transformation. The next ten years would see a big boom in the sector, as already on could seethe growth already begun in metros and semi-metros.

The industry is comprised of a wide variety of jobs and posts. Everyone from a student qualified in class 10 to an MBA can find a job to suit his accomplishments. The jobs are organized at many levels. These can be broadly divided into three main categories – sales staff, store back office and regional head office. To move up in the retail sector, one needs a degree or diploma in retail management. Such specialized courses impart knowledge of concepts and processes involved in retailing. The courses equip pupils with skills in technical, operational and conceptual area to embark on a career in retailing.

Retailing is not just about selling or filling shelves, and by no means are all the job opportunities in the stores themselves. The retail industry is fast moving and complex, high profile and constantly changing. Working in the retail sector may not always be nine to five Job and it may involve long working hours. In any way, working for a retail store is a little like running your own business. Most retailers look for an entrepreneurial drive teamed with an aptitude for analytical and quick thinking.

When it comes to educational qualifications required to pursue a career in the retail sector, there are no hard and fast rules. There are jobs available to suit everyone’s needs and credential. It is however believed that those holding a degree in the field are likely to climb the corporate ladder faster. There are many academic programs being offered by various institutes. These range from three months to two years.

For employment in the retail sector, one should have a graduate degree (preferably with a specialization in marketing) and good knowledge of operating computer, accounting and inventory management. People with a background in fashion technology, marketing, finance management, supply chain management. HR customer service and advertising also have promising prospects in this industry. Certificate and diploma courses in retail management that are being conducted by various institutes train students to become thorough professionals in this field. Hence it can be very much recommended to students to enroll themselves for specialized courses that are being offered by recognized institutes.

People often look at the retail sector as a salesman’s arena. However, not many realize that there are plenty of other opportunities available In between salesmen and the senior management, there are different Job profiles. There are opportunities for front-end sales personnel, IT professionals, supply chain, business development officers, development marketing personnel. MNCs generally have customer care executives, store managers, public relation executives, marketing and sales executives, operations and interacting with the customers there are options for the youth as sales executives, store managers and retail managers. The Indian relaters are conducting aggressive recruitment for skilled personnel in key roles. The pay checks at entry level jobs are subject to the company you are employed with.

Climbing the ladder further can get you the post in the regional head office, which is the hub of all decision making. This is the backbone of all retail outlets and stores. Senior executive from a leading retail organization adds they need really well qualified personnel. Most of the posts here are filled in by MBA with specialization in the respective fields. The pay scale at these levels is any where the enormous pay packages offered to MBAs are no secret.

As the retail industry is at a very nascent stage and is currently growing by leaps and bounds, there is tremendous opportunity here for growth and upward mobility. However, one needs to be patient. The climb from a sales assistance to store manager takes at least two years. Besides one also needs to put in a lot of hard work and then hard work by itself is not sufficient; you need to be street smart. The jobs and careers are there and the rewards are outstanding. You just have to go and grab the opportunity.

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