Millions of retail jobs in transition: TeamLease

Demand for ‘new kind of talent’ arises

India’s retail industry is now in the process of training and transitioning millions of its people for the newly-emerged, COVID-19-created sales, logistics and customer support functions, says staffing firm TeamLease.

As per the Retailers Association of India, the sector at present employs 40 to 50 million people. TeamLease says at least 35% of these people require comprehensive ‘role-transition training and orientation’ while retail chains are gearing up for ‘post-pandemic play’ with multi-pronged offline and online sales and customer- reach strategies.

To start with, TeamLease will hire and train over 6,000 people to be positioned in the ‘essential’ retail categories across brands.

COVID-19 has created a need for newer kind talent in retail in terms of better communication to enhance customer reach, ability to take orders online, assembling, readying baskets and eventually reaching them to customers’ door step.

Sumit Kumar, Vice President – NETAP (National Employability Through Apprenticeship Programme) at TeamLease told The Hindu that: “The post-pandemic retail play is going to be very different from the traditional. Retail brands are now busy remodelling their business plans, service models and delivery channels. They also need to equip their sale staff, through comparisons training, to fit the market change.’’

”In the future, the trust is going to be on online deliveries. The orders will come via phone, social media, emails and websites. Retailers are now spending their energies on digitization and upgradation of websites to make them dynamic and user-friendly. Also, there will be a huge transition of workers from non-essential to essential.’’

Most retail chains, including Future Group, Reliance Group, Aditya Birla Group, Spenser’s Retail, Landmark Group, Bata India, Godfrey Philips India, Vishal Mega Mart and Saravana Stores, are under rapid transition with a view to make themselves more relevant and safe to customers.

”The retail now requires new talent, which was never anticipated before. Hence, the focus is on fresh hiring and training of existing people to ready them for a wide variety of newer functions. So all category workers, right from people in sales, billing, supervisors and managers, are under training now,’’ added Mr. Kumar.

As per industry sources, apart from TeamLease, Spencer’s Retail is hiring some 1,500 people for essential category jobs; BigBasket may hire a similar number while Godfrey Philips India would recruit some 500 new people.

Giving a respite to both retailers and individual consumers, the government has recently broad-based the scope of `essentials’ and therefore the category will now comprise a wide variety of items including home care, personal care, skin care products apart from groceries, dairy and healthcare products.

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