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HR Talk : Retail Bites

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DQC News Bureau
Updated On
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As the Indian IT industry is expanding on an astonishing scale, the way

people shop for IT products has also changed. Customers demand a better look and

feel of the product and above all, fancy a more personalized attention.

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The best way to meet the expectations of customers is through showcasing the

products in a lavish manner and that has been possible through retail stores

where all their demands are met in a sophisticated manner.

The retail wave has already swept through the metros, wherein almost all the

premier channel partners have opened their multiple retail outlets. Upcountry

markets like Ajmer are gradually adopting the retail retail trend with partners

investing heavily in building their retail stores.

Besides the channel, vendors too are focusing heavily on building exclusive

outlets to increase their brand awareness. Retail, thus has become the next

revolution in B and C-class cities.

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Partners have identified the potential that retailing offers in attracting

large chunk of customers. They are today paying more attention to the basic

requirements that could give a different environment to their outlet, to get

more walkins.

Essential factors



Before investing in a retail showroom, partners must outline various

factors. Besides infrastructure and ambience, one major aspect that is important

to make the retail store a profitable investment, are efficient employees who

possess the art of attending customers in a personalized way.

Chandrashekhar, Director



Utkarsh Staffing Solution

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Employees or attendants, groomed to offer quality services to customers play

a credible role in binding customers with the store. They should be patient and

hospitable so that they can assist the customer in choosing the best product as

per his choice and budget.

Moreover, in a small town like Ajmer, where customers are more comfortable in

using the regional dialect, it could be beneficial if the attendants are also

accustomed to the local language. This helps in developing a strong bonding

between customers and employees.

Also, employees should be polished and groomed in their appearance. They have

to be alert and attentive enough to give right assistance to the visitors.

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Obstacles on the way



Though the number of retail outlets is increasing in metros as well as in

the upcountry, the availability of qualified human resource is scarce. Channel

partners either spend a good amount of energy and time in fishing the right set

of people with apt knowledge and experience of handling custo­mers in retail

showroom or they end up compromising with the available resources.

Majority of the potential manpower in upcountry is keen on moving to metros

with the hope of finding better jobs and more money. So a large chunk of capable

employees are drained away. Those who are in the town are not so keen to gear up

with the requirements.



Expert Says


Unavailability of skilled manpower for retail stores in an upcountry market

is a genuine problem of partners and can be solved if they feel the right

pulse of the employees. Here are three simple methods that Shalabh Agarwal

can implement to solve the issue:
  • Organize workshops on a regular interval

    to train employees and sensitize them on their performance in retail

    stores. This would boost their confidence and generate interest in

    improving their personality
  • Manpower who have been drained to metros

    may get attracted to work in their hometown, provided they get the same

    opportunities. Try to meet their expectation.
  • Assign old employees with bigger job role.

    This will help them in sharpening their skills
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Moreover, it takes a lot of time to groom the new set of people and elevate

them to the required level.

The available manpower are not trained enough to handle the customers in a

professional manner and unpolished attendants end up losing the regular

customers. These pose a big problem for channel to meet the required elements

for a successful business.

The problem of attrition and poaching poses another threat for partners to

hold their employees for a long time. Most often, when a person switches to

another job, a large amount of energy and time gets wasted. This in turn also

reduce the opportunity on part of employees to grease their efficiency and prove

their potential. Thus, it hampers the growth of partners in the upcountry market

in a big way. They are paralyzed to work on new projects or to expand their

business in the absence of qualified manpower.

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Even if a partner is lucky to get good set of people to manage their

customers, retaining them for a long time is another issue of concern.

Developing a faithful relation with the employees takes a long time for which it

is necessary that the employees adhere to the company for a long time.

Partners should thus plan strategies to retain their employees before they

venture into retail business. They should weigh their available resources before

they plunge into any new project to add profitability to their business.

Feasible options



Before venturing into the retail business, and while working to find the

feasible solution of scarce manpower, channel should analyze the potential of

available human resources as to who would be most suitable for handling retail.

It is not advisable to appoint fresh people for such task as the employer and

employees need to share a relationship that is trustworthy and responsible.

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An employer alone cannot handle different stores, so he needs an assistant

who can take better charge of new assignments and inform the employer of all

updates. Therefore, only such people should be assigned that have set skills,

understand the nature of task and share a very strong relation with the

employer.

One should not spend his resources in training new set of people, but instead

the old lot should be elevated to perform new jobs. This would not only give

them new opportunity but also boost their confidence and trust for the employer.

The new group of people should be appointed to handle other tasks rather than

looking after retail outlets.

Training and grooming of old employees sparks a lot of energy in them, which

makes them feel important and more responsible.

Whatever decision a partner takes while selecting the right set of people for

new retail stores, it should be done wisely and keeping in mind the factors that

would bring profit from the new investment.

Shalabh Agarwal is CEO of Symbiois Computer Visions, Ajmer

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