The retail sector in India was one of the fastest-growing sectors in India and has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last few years. While the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the growth rate of the industry, the sector adapted admirably, reshaping the required business models to suit the new trends.
Furthermore, the kind of talent required in the sector has also undergone a sea of change. As we move forward to a post-pandemic world, optimizing workforce planning and strategy is a crucial part of the retail sector. It is important to reassess skills with a focus on tech-savvy employees that can perform better in a digital workplace.
Retail Industry in India
As per a report by Forrester Research in 2020, the Indian retail market was estimated at $883 billion. The Indian market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, especially in the online retail section. The pandemic forced a shift in business approach, compelling companies to speed up digital transformation initiatives and change their consumer experiences in order to respond successfully in these difficult times.
Digitalization has led to new sales channels and new opportunities for the customers, and globalization has paved the way for new markets and introduced new competitors. Although this approach ensured business continuity, it also showed a significant talent gap in the workforce. A huge discrepancy has developed as a result of employers' failure to engage in reskilling programs.
Skilled Workforce and Sustainable Growth
The Indian retail market with the large-scale shift to e-commerce is required to constantly provide high-end customer service and consumer satisfaction. Businesses have shown an increase in investments toward ensuring the majority of the workforce is skilled.
According to a recent National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) report, India will require 56 million skilled workers in the retail sector by 2022.
Today, due to the advancement in technology, attaining skill and knowledge has become easier and this has led to the skilled workforce being highly competitive. A skilled workforce promotes profitability, productivity, and consistent growth in any retail organization.
In the retail market, a skilled workforce is required for the smooth functioning of the various departments. Some examples of skilled workforce segments in the retail industry are IT skills, communication skills, customer service skills, numeracy, marketing, and management.
Benefits of a Skilled Workforce
Skilled workers are a crucial part of any business as they contribute largely to the development of the business’s reputation and ongoing success. A skilled workforce ensures positive outcomes in retail organizations, with productivity being the most significant benefit.
Increases Productivity: Skilled employees are experts in the job they do and this will improve the productivity of the business. Whereas, unskilled workers would require additional training, consuming valuable time and resources.
Ability to Solve Problems: Employees with skills have advanced practical and theoretical knowledge, making them overcome issues and highlight inconsistencies within the business practices. A skilled workforce has the potential to do what is necessary and the ability to solve problems when required.
Improves Profitability: Most businesses give more importance to quantity over quality. It is much better to employ a skilled worker than multiple unskilled workers. And the company’s profitability and reputation will pave the way for stronger growth.
Positive Work Environment: Skilled workers help in improving the working environment and workplace relations, as they will be able to get on with the job at hand and work harmoniously with their colleagues. This will make a happier workplace, reduce stress, and staff loyalty.
Every company in the retail industry must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and solve difficulties, which is something that a skilled workforce excels at. The advanced training allows individuals to be able to think through matters and solve issues that are presented in front of them. The ability to adapt, learn and move forward is crucial for sustainable growth in the retail industry.
The retail industry is steadily shifting towards an online model. As a result of this transformation, it is critical for retail businesses to continue growth by adapting their skilled workforce to match the requirements of an online service or industry.
The future of the retail industry lies in the skilled workforce. Such a workforce will ensure that the industry grows at a sustainable rate while also creating new jobs. Increased use of technology will be critical to this growth as well as allowing for more skilled workers. The answer to bridging the gap between sustainability and the retail market is a skilled workforce.