The Indian retail industry is the fifth largest in the world. Comprising of organized and unorganized sectors, India retail industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India, especially over the last few years. Though initially, the retail industry in India was mostly unorganized, however with the change of tastes and preferences of the consumers, the industry is getting more popular these days and getting organized as well.

Retailing involves all activities incidental to selling to ultimate consumer for their personnel family and household use. It does this by organizing their availability on a relatively large scale and supplying them to customers on a relatively small scale. Retailer is any person/organization instrumental in reaching the goods or merchandise or services to the end users. Retailer is a must and cannot be eliminated. The Indian retailing industry is becoming intensely competitive, as more and more payers are targeting for the same set of customers. The major retail players are Pantaloon Retail, Shoppers Stop, Reliance, etc..,

Retailing is one of the biggest sectors and it is witnessing revolution in India. The new entrant in retailing in India signifies the beginning of retail revolution. India’s retail market is expected to grow tremendously in next few years. According to AT Kearney, The Windows of Opportunity shows that Retailing in India was at opening stage in 1995 and now it is in growth stage in 2008. India’s retail market is expected to grow tremendously in next few years. Retail market is expected to grow 10% a year, with modern retailing just beginning. This window of opportunity is useful for executives who plan their market-specific strategies; the four stages or the lifecycle of this industry are as follows:

Overview of Indian Retail Sector:

Retail Sector is the most booming sector in the Indian economy. Some of the biggest players of the world are going to enter the industry soon. It is on the threshold of bringing the next big revolution after the IT sector. Although organized retail market is not so strong as of now, it is expected to grow manifolds by the year 2010. The sector contributes 10% of the GDP, and is estimated to show 20% annual growth rate by the end of the decade as against the current growth rate of 8.5%. A CRISIL report says that the Indian retail market is the most fragmented in the world and that only 2% of the entire retailing business is in the organized sector. This suggests that the potential for growth is immense. There are about 300 new malls, 1500 supermarkets and 325 departmental stores currently being built in the cities across India.

Players present in the industry:

Archies, Bata India Ltd, Big Bazaar, Crossword, Ebony Retail Holdings Ltd., Fabmall, Food Bazaar, Globus Stores Pvt. Ltd., Health and Glow, Liberty Shoes Ltd., MTR Foods Ltd., Music World Entertainment Ltd., Pantaloon Retail India Ltd., Shoppers Stop, Style SPA Furniture Ltd, Subhiksha, Titan Industries, Lifestyle, etc.

New entrants entering the market soon will be Reliance Retail Ltd, Wal-Mart Stores, Carrefour, Tesco, Boots Group, etc.

Employment opportunities in retail sector in India:

India’s retail industry is the second largest sector, after agriculture, which provides employment. According to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the retail sector will create 50,000 jobs in next few years.

Retail companies are starting retail management courses in partnership with management institutes, roping in talent from other sectors and developing comprehensive career growth and loyalty plans for existing employees.

Challenges of Retail in India

In India the Retail industry has a long way to go, and to become a truly flourishing industry, retailing needs to cross the following hurdles:

  • The first challenge facing the organized retail sector is the competition from unorganized sector.
  • In retail sector, Automatic approval is not allowed for foreign investment.
  • Taxation, which favours small retail businesses.
  • Lack of trained work force.
  • Low skill level for retailing management.
  • Intrinsic complexity of retailing- rapid price changes, threat of product obsolescence and low margins.
  • Organized retail sector has to pay huge taxes, which is negligible for small retail business.
  • Cost of business operations is very high in India.


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