The bylanes of Chawri Bazar take you to Loha Gali, and a steep staircase there. A door opens to a long, plain room with a projector, and a bunch of enthusiastic traders in the midst of a team-building activity.
In the first training session at the Retail School – set up to meet the challenges of FDI in retail and domestic supermarkets – 30 traders on Tuesday got lessons in customer relations, showroom designing, marketing and product-range planning.
The going wasn’t easy as traditional business practices were questioned and the participants asked to work as a team instead of individuals.
Management student Soumya Khandelwal, 22, who helps in her father’s hardware business, said: “Our families have been running their businesses with ideas that won’t help us in the future. We aren’t even at 20% of what we can be. This training taught us how to harness the remaining 80%.”
Nikhil Gupta, 30, is involved in his father’s cutting tools business. “The training was useful, but it will benefit our fathers more as they are more resistant to change,” he said.
The Retail School is an idea of the Confederation of All India Traders and will be expanded across the country in the coming months.