Retail offers a gamut of roles: Retail Management

 How is the retail scenario in India looking right now?

Retail has begun to look up in the past one quarter. The signs are positive. The future looks good for retail if we do not take our eyes off the fundamentals. I would say that if the sector goes for a mad growth then it will be a problem; we have to examine the demand and the needs of the customer to grow.


What is the role of people working in retail?
They can take on several roles. To start with, they have to directly interface with customers — in retail parlance, they have to start work at the shop floor level. Apart from that, retail offers a gamut of opportunities — from merchandising to supply chain management and marketing, especially to build customer footfall at retail points.


Are there good opportunities for freshers in retail now?
Sure. For anyone who is willing to work hard and does not mind putting in long hours, this sector is the place to be in. The only requirement is that the person should pick up the right skills to succeed.


How can one win over a customer who is in a rage?
Looking back at my days at the counter, I would say that one should have a customer-friendly temperament or at least train oneself to handle customers in a friendly manner. New recruits should be backed by training. Many organisations like Hotspot train freshers, devoting a lot of time to it, making them capable of managing shop floor situations.

When customers came back to me complaining about handsets, as I am from mobile retailing, I helped them take a close look at the product. I always made it a point to help customers learn everything about the product. The best way to avoid a flare-up is to give the buyer complete and correct information.

If you put the customer first, then handling them in this way will become a habit. So, the only mantra to succeed is to be transparent, friendly and communicating the right things to the customer.


What do you feel are the basic qualities that a person should have before joining retail?
Three things are a must — interacting with people directly; keenness to learn as a lot of new products are coming up; and the ability to retrain yourself every six months.


What kind of education should one focus on while in college or an institute?
As long as a person has strong fundamentals, he can be successful in retail. Retail does not need any specialisation but a certain set of skills.

I am not in favour of specialisations, as I believe that if a person has the right abilities he can join retail. This sector needs a lot of energy; if you do not have it, then retail is not for you.