Saturday, January 28, 2012: 10:30:14 PM

Retail Trend

Retail education: A growing trend

Brands announce tie-ups with education players and entry into education industry to enhance quality of professionals in the retail sector

The growing number of colleges offering courses on retail bears testimony to the massive employment opportunity that the retail sector provides the Indian youth. With retail giant Future Group entering the education sector, a lot of experts predicted that it would give rise to a whole new branch of education that will focus solely on the dynamic and powerful retail sector in the country.

 
Retailers have realised that the key to quality manpower is training and retail players have begun to collaborate with training academies to ensure quality training. The retail sector provides a massive career opportunity for a number of youth in the semi-urban and rural sector and can also address the issue of unemployment in certain sectors.
 
Periwinkle Group ties up with RAGC
 
Recently, Indian retail giant Periwinkle Group announced a tie-up with Rustomjee Academy for Global Careers (RAGC). The Periwinkle Group is the retail parent of chains such as Planet Retail, Bagzone, Samsonite and American Tourister. Under the new initiative, RAGC will train underprivileged youth and provide them an opportunity to work with the Periwinkle Group. The Group has committed to absorbing 300 students over the span of 2 years in its various stores spread across the country.
 
Students will be provided on-the-job training in the course and also granted a stipend of Rs 3000 per month during their internship period. The period will also offer the students an opportunity to win scholarship and sponsorship in the future. At the completion of the course, students will be offered careers as fashion consultants or sales executives in Periwinkle Group. The course is of 3 months and is offered to students with a minimum qualification of 8th grade. According to Vikas Purohit, COO of Planet Retail, “We, as a group, believe in empowering the youth as they are the future of the country. We are delighted to partner with RAGC and give underprivileged students a platform to strengthen their careers. We hope to reach out to the students across the country and give them an equal opportunity to accomplish their dreams.”
 
The tie-up by Periwinkle is one example of the importance that retailers are giving to the training and hiring of professionals into the industry. According to Kavi Luthria, vice president of RAGC, “It is a unique initiative to create skilled manpower for emerging sectors and provide them with employment opportunities. Therefore, we are pleased to work with the Periwinkle Group towards our vision of making India a powerhouse for skilled workforce, which will be in great demand in the years to come.  We are working on a slew of programmes in various sectors to impart technical/vocational training to underprivileged youth and make them self-reliant.”
 
Future outlook
 
Experts predict that absorption of skilled professionals in the retail sector will increase further with the entry of international players in the scene. The selection procedure and criteria of professionals are also expected to undergo certain changes once international retailers come up with wholly owned stores under the single brand retail window.
 
Tias Chakraborty

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