Retail giants focus on grooming skills

Thursday, 01 December 2011

Now that the government has allowed 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, the entry of global giants like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour is surely going to up the temperature and increase competition. In such a situation, even the people manning important operations in the retail value chain have to be well trained to stand tough in the booming retail market. No wonder India’s retail majors Future Group and Shoppers Stop have now turned their focus on creating skills eying the bright future ahead.

Kishore Biyani’s Future Learning has tied up with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to train almost seven million people in various skills including retail over the next 10 years. On the other hand, Shoppers Stop’s B S Nagesh has launched a non-profit organization called -- Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) -- to impart not only skill development, but also provide other knowledge, including English language and etiquette, among others.

According to Nagesh, the trust was launched after a study conducted by his group found that shop floor staff had an inability to speak English. TRRAIN has tied up with Aptech to come up with a module to impart basic English skills to front-end employees. He has invested Rs 5.5 lakh to purchase a shipping container, installed air-conditioning in it and placed it in the underground parking lot of Inorbit Mall in Mumbai. Since October, TRRAIN has taught English skills to about 100 store employees who spared one to two hours daily for a daily payment of Rs 49. About six dozen store employees are currently visiting the shipping container to get English lessons.

Even Bharti-Wal-Mart, has opened several centers to train people in retail. Retailers Association of India, through their partnership with NSDC called Retailers Association Skill Council of India plans to train five million people in retail expertise in the next 10 years.

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