Modern retail: skills
There are three ways of entering retail: as a Class 12 graduate, as a bachelor's degree holder or as an MBA. There are two side of the business you can enter: front-end on the shop floor or head office.
Class 12 Pass
Skills needed: Ability to speak the local language. Good English is not required. It does not require academic skills, you simply need to be good with people. It would suit the kind of person working in a call centre. You should demonstrate confidence, energy, patience, presentation, a willingness to work shifts, an ability to learn and versatility. It is a hands-on job. You go around the shop floor. It would suit a 'chatty' rather than a 'thinking person.'
Entry-level job title: Customer service associate. A Class 12 pass with some years' experience can enter as a check-out associate.
Career prospects: Good. In most companies, a Class 12 Pass could be promoted to store manager, though some companies will only let MBAs get this far.
Skills needed: Graduates accepted from any discipline, including fine arts. However, BComm graduates have an edge as being good with figures helps. HR bosses are more interested in your attitude and communication skills and whether you appear willing to work shift hours. You need the same attributes as a Class 12 graduate, such as confidence, presentation and energy.
Entry-level job title: Check-out associate or team leader.
Career prospects: Good in operations since there is a dearth of professionals in the sector, promotions are fast but an MBA is required for most jobs in buying and merchandising.
Skills needed: MBAs accepted from any institute but it's a bonus if you have opted for retail management. You need to speak good English, have analytical and numerical skills, be adaptable, a team player, self-motivated, have good presentation, negotiation and communication skills and be able to develop strategies. It suits 'thinking' types.
Entry-level job title: Either service manager in operations or a an assistant buyer or trader.
Career prospects: Excellent as many retailers reserve top jobs for MBAs, who are often on fast-track promotion schemes in operations and at the head office.