The Centre may have put off the decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail for now, but some educational institutions are gearing up to churn out specialists in retail management.
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) will launch BBA and MBA programmes in retail management in the 2012 session. The MBA course is likely to be residential. “The retail industry will grow manifold in the next few years and FDI will only give it a boost. We want the students to be kept abreast of the demands in the sector,” says GGSIPU vice chancellor DK Bandyopadhyay.
He adds that the course will help students learn the finer nuances of specialised areas such as logistics, operations, accounting and supply chain management. GGSIPU’s University School of Management Studies had earlier launched a three-month certificate course in retail.
Shri Ram College of Commerce, principal, PC Jain says that FDI will bring about a positive change in the Indian economy.
“If FDI is allowed, it would mean a greater need for skilled professionals and training students at the global level. We must not forget that the credibility of Indian students is more than their European counterparts,” says Jain.
A few private institutions are also helping students keep pace with the expected growth in the sector. “Once FDI is allowed, we will need specialists in supply chain, visual merchandising, audio/ visual store designing, retail analytics and live promotions of products,” says Sanjay Chandwani, assistant professor, marketing and retail at the Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon.
Citing examples of training methods, Chandwani says, “We use retail analytic software, store simulation exercises and ask students to participate in visual merchandising tasks. These prepare them for specific jobs in retail.”