EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN FDI IN RETAIL
Retail is currently the booming sector of the Indian economy. This trend is expected to continue uninterrupted for at least the next two-three decades, attracting huge attention from all quarters of the economy -entrepreneurs, business heads, investors as well as real estate owners and builders-. Retail sector is also expected to create huge employment as it will expand across the country at a massive scale. The reasons for this expansion of retail is evidently related to the liberalization and opening up of the Indian economy which had immense effects on the consumer demand, tastes and preferences as well as the buying capacities of the Indians (specially the growing middle class) over the past few years. Slowly and steadily retail has witnessed considerable growth while a new form of organized retail sector has emerged within the retail industry. Stated simply, it refers to the organized retail chains managed by big corporate houses such as the Pantaloons group, K. Raheja group, the Piramals and so on. These are modeled on American forms of organized retail chains such as Walmart, one of the largest in the world. With such developments in the retail it is important to look at the labour market in this sector. Since this is a relatively under-researched area, attempts have been made to understand and conceptualize labour as it is perceived by both unorganized and organized forms of retailing. Overview of Retail Sector
Retail has played a major role world over in increasing productivity across a wide range of consumer goods and services .The impact can be best seen in countries like United States of America (U.S.A)., United Kingdom (U.K)., Mexico, Thailand and more recently China. Retail is one of the largest industries in the world. It is the second-largest industry in the United States both in number of establishments and number of employees. The retail industry employs more than 22 million Americans and generates more than $3 trillion in retail sale annually. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer. It is also the world’s largest employer with over 1million associates. Wal-Mart has become the most successful retail brand in the world due its claimed ability to leverage size, market clout, and efficiency to create market dominance (CII Report, 2006). Salient Features of Indian Organized Retail
Retail has traditionally been a major sector in India employing millions of people. Retailing currently contributes 10% of India’s GDP and 6-7% of employment (Kalhan, 2007). The popular traditional form of retail has been the so-called ‘unorganized’ form of retailing mostly represented by small family-owned stores, selling one particular category of product, e.g Kirana shops, drug stores, located in the market place or residential areas, road-side stalls, hand-cart and pavement vendors etc. However with the opening up of the Indian economy since 1991 retail sector has gradually undergone considerable changes in its form. Though earlier mainly represented by the low-cost ‘mom-and-pop’ store format, retail today is emerging has a huge “industry”. The major shift has been the emergence of an organized sector within the retail industry. In common parlance organized sector usually denotes unionization. However, in the Indian context organized sector is differentiated from unorganized sector in terms of employment status. The former offers regular contractual hired employment along with social security benefits and hence implies better service conditions for its employees as opposed to their counterparts in the unorganized sector. Retail in India used to fall largely into the unorganized category. However, recently there has been the emergence of organized sector within retail. Many Indian entrepreneurs have taken a keen interest in retailing over the last decade and have successfully established organized retail chains, notable among which are headed by the Future (Pantaloons)...
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