- 09 June 2011
- Published in Retail
Continued from Part 1...
12) Assistant Store Manager
He reports to the Store Manager and is responsible for entire store operations viz sales management, staff management, visual merchandising, inventory management, category management, customer relationship management, shrinkage and pilferage control etc. In terms of educational qualifications he must be a graduate in any discipline. Must have strong operational skills, communication skills, leadership skills and analytical skills. Candidate in similar nature of retail chain is preferred. Experienced candidates are given preference. In order to shoulder higher responsibilities, one needs to be MBA with sound knowledge of computers, and ability to handle a large workforce.
13) Store Manager
Retail store managers oversee all or part of the operations in retail stores. Store manager takes the responsibility of managing an individual store. The job of Store Manager involves handling day to day operations ofthe store. He/she is usually responsible for managing work schedules ofthe employees, controlling inventory, monitoring stock level, places order for new stock, supply chain management, designing displays, dealing with complaints, and hiring, training, and supervising employees as well as analyzing records of financial transactions. They also track sales, order products, I andle payroll, supervise loss prevention programs, and report to their supervisors or the store's owners. The duties of Store Manager depend on the format and size of the retail company, he is working for. To be eligible for this position, one needs to be a graduate. He/She is required to be enthusiastic and passionate individual. Preference is given to those with experience in retail management/ merchandising/ sourcing/ product & category management.
14) Retail Manager
Retail manager often begins his/her career as a sales associate, stockers, or customer service representatives in a retail store. Those who demonstrate motivation, maturity, and responsibility may be promoted to supervisor or assistant manager and then to manager. In small companies, further advancement may not be possible. Larger companies promote successful store managers to district or regional manager positions, in which they oversee the operations of a group of stores in a particular area. From there, they may be promoted to upper-level management and work at their company's headquarters.
15) Brand Manager
Brand manager manages a portfolio of key brands as well as performance: and profitability of the brands. He needs to develop and execute short and medium range plans, study trends, responses, and demands of customer and source appropriate, adequate, and timely stock accordingly. He is also required to formulate and implement sales and marketing strategies to optimise sales, profit and cost effectiveness. In an organization, brand manager is accountable for sales performance, pricing, inventory, buying, merchandising, allocation; grouping, markdowns, credit control.
Brand Manager analyses brand reports (sales, inventory, margin, etc.) and refresh knowledge of current events, brand updates, and industry happenings through newspapers, magazines, and Internet. He builds and maintains the distribution and retail network. He formulates and recommends new or changes the existing policies and procedures. He initiates and lead a new projects and business alliances to boost productivity and profitability. He facilitates effective communication among functional areas with constant communication with Management on the trends and opportunities. He sets merchandising policies and systems; make recommendations, and track merchandise sales / forecasting / sales analysis along with planning and following-up on buying schedule and merchandising logistics such as shipment, taxes, etc. Handling of stock management and control of all merchandise also come under his belt. He needs to establish and maintain satisfactory customer (defective returns, layout of store and staff strength) and public relations, through direct or delegated contacts with representative individuals and groups. In addition to attend overseas or national sales meetings and trade shows representing the Company integrity. Experience Professionals with management degree is required for this position.
16) Regional Sales Manager
He/she is responsible for planning and preparation of estimated Annual Business Plan for the financial year. Estimation of shop wise, month wise sales. Weekly, monthly, analysis of sales and merchandise. Merchandise planning, brand mix and monitoring of merchandise process. Product wise purchase and inventory with zonal merchandiser and other brand managers. Other functions include: Manpower planning, timely recruitment of staff, motivation to employees, incentive schemes to achieve the estimated sales within the estimated staff costs, regular interaction with employees to increase retention. Marketing plan, promotions, maintaining visual merchandising, maintenance of shop to ensure service and standard of retail.
He needs to plan and take conclusive decision for finalizing new stores locations, rent, to maintain existing stores and its operation. He also requires to ensure renovation of stores in time. To perform these functions, he should have good understanding of shops layouts and renovation plans. He has to maintain good relations with business associates, vendors, buyers, etc. including Brands/ key partners, shopping malls, Departmental store/ Franchisee. Advisors/ Consultants.
Commercial understanding of retail operations including prices, costing, taxes, margins accounts, banking and understanding include prices, costing, taxes, margins, accounts, banking, and understanding and monitoring of statuary obligations of the company applicable to the zone also goes down well with the job requirement. To be eligible for this position, candidate must be a graduate or a Diploma holder in Marketing Management with good understanding of the local markets.
17) Department Managers
Department Managers oversee the sales and manage stores, plan advertising campaigns and sales promotions, hire and train personnel, control inventories, draft budgets, and recommend, establish, or implement store procedures and policies. Managers may also oversee the remodeling of a store, plan store layouts and design displays, decide selling strategies, and represent the store in negotiations with manufacturers. Graduate with excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required for this position.
18) Floor Manager
Floor manager is accountable for all the activities of the floor which includes departments and sub departments. His job involves setting up of the new system of inventory planning and store promotion activities, managing the sales and distribution/ visibility in outlets, sales forecasting , stock planning and budgeting, maintaining product hygiene at all levels by replacing defective stocks
19) Visual Merchandisers
The retail boom has led to a stiff competition among the Indian and foreign retailers to attract and retain customers. This competition has given rise to a new breed of retail staff - visual merchandisers. The customer attitude has changed because of the number of options available and this has created a bright future for visual merchandisers. Retail outlets are now looking at visual merchandisers to provide the edge as far as visual display is concerned.
Visual merchandisers thus hold the most important position in the retail store. The team of visual merchandisers is responsible for conceptualizing, designing and implementing store designing, window and in-store displays and space productivity. Visual Merchandising is a highly creative and aesthetic field. To be an effective visual merchandiser, an incumbent must have aesthetic inclination, artistic flair and creativity combined with an eye for cost control and technical know-how to set up appealing displays. They are the ones who give a brand a face.
Visual merchandiser must have knowledge of window display techniques, product display techniques, understanding of color harmony and various lighting techniques.
20) Supply Chain Distributors /Logistics/Warehouse Managers
Supply chain is another area of extreme importance. Supply chain managers are responsible for ensuring that the right product reaches the right place at the right time. Supply chain managers work in a close coordination with the merchandise department. These positions are generally held in stores dealing in perishable goods where the role of supply chain manager is critical for the success of both front-end outlets and back end procurement centers. Supply chain management coordinates with the stores, warehouses and transportation companies. Warehouse manager supervises warehousing and delivery operations as per the set processes and systems and continuously work on improving productivity. One needs to be a graduate, with knowledge in Materials Management / Logistics. Preference is given to the candidates with some experience.
- 27 May 2011
- Published in Retail
Admission to postgraduate courses in Retail Management/Marketing Management in the prominent management institutes is given on the basis of written test, group discussion and interview. In some cases, interview is followed by psychometric test also. As you might be aware a large number of management institutes prefer to admit candidates on the basis of their scores in CAT/MAT/ATMA/JMET/XAT. Apart from these common admission tests, there are some institutions who conduct their independent written admission tests.
To give you an idea about the general prevailing pattern of admission tests conducted by the prominent management institutions, it is necessary to be familiar with the following admission tests:
Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by IIM.
Common Admission Test is a common aptitude test conducted jointly by the IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management—Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore, Calicut). It is highly competitive test among all other management aptitude tests like ATMA, GMAT, JMET, XLRI. The CAT is designed with an aim to test the candidate's managerial skills and aptitude and his ability to work under pressure and time constraint.
Xavier Admission Test (XAT) conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur for admission to retail or management programmes of XLRI and XIM. But there are a number of other private institutions who select students on the basis of XAT scores as part of their admission procedure. Further information on XAT can be had from: www.xlri.edu
Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is conducted by All India Management Association (AIMATS) for admission to almost all AICTE approve institutes and university departments.
ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) is conducted by Association of Indian Management Schools. ATMA scores are also widely recognized by various management schools.
JMET(Joint Management Entrance Test) is conducted by IJTs and Indian Institute of Science for selecting candidates primarily for PG programmes in the IITs and IIS. There are some institutions though less in number who accept the scores of J MET for their management programmes.
SNAP Test is conducted by Symbiosis for admission to management programmes.
On the basis of written test, candidates are short listed for group discussion and interview. The candidates who successfully clear all the stages are offered admission to the institution for the programme applied for.
As far as eligibility criteria is concerned, no percentage is as such demanded to appear for CAT. Any graduate whosoever has an interest in management could appear for the test. Students who are in their final year of graduation can also apply. Every institute which accepts CAT score also has their own admission requirements. Thus, most of them ask for 50% marks in the graduation level.
The detailed written examination test your: Quantitative Aptitude, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency.
Pattern of the paper is given below. But, it is important to note that the changes are seen every year, though major changes come in paper setting after every four or five year.
Mathematics section constitutes 50 marks comprising the regular topics - percentage, numbers, ratios, geometry, area, triangles, maxima, minima, permutation, circles and mensuration.
Data Interpretation and Data sufficiency section comprises of 35 marks. This section also constitutes the questions of logical reasoning. But at certain times, it has been observed that there is a separate section for logical reasoning.
English section comprises of 50 marks that contains contextual usage, jumbled paragraphs, synonyms, antonyms, sentence correction, summary passages, error spotting and finding the odd word.
Reading Comprehension is usually of 50 marks containing 6 to 8 passages on sociological or historical themes or on variety of subjects.
It is important to note that besides IIMs, there are many other management institutes which accept the CAT scores. CAT is known for its high level of unpredictability so much so that it has become a sort of phobia amongst the management aspirants. Students have labelled it as one of the toughest competitive exams because of the following factors:
The major attraction of most of the courses in retail management provided by various institutions is the hands on training which the student will get as a part of their curriculum. The internships as part of curriculum of the course provide the students a complete and holistic insight into the working of the various formats of retail stores, providing them with ample opportunities to understand the sciences of retail management practically. This industry exposure generates a rationality and pragmatism and encourages them to correlate classroom learning with what happens in the industry. This arrangement offers advanced training in theory and applications in the retailing business.
This way the students are prepared with a unique blend of academic prowess as well as practical rigor of the industry.
Duration of retail courses
The courses in retail management offered are of different durations depending on the universities and the institutions. Some are of 3 months certificate programme, whereas others are 2 or 3 years diploma or degree programmes in retail management or in one of its specialized branch.
3 months or 6 months or even 1 year programmes are of entry level programmes designed for an entrants to a retail career.
The degree programmes are for advanced level. Core Modules are:
Basics of Marketing, Merchandise Buying & Management, Warehousing & Supply Chain Management, Consumer Behaviour Analysis, Retail Advertising & Sales Promotions, Customer Relationship Management, Retail Strategy, Store Formats, Location & Positioning, Retail Information Systems & CRM, Store Design & Visual Merchandising, Retail Statutory Obligations, Financial Management & Retail Accounting, Marketing, Operation Management, Brand Management, Sales Management, Supply Chain Management, Retail Software Knowledge.
- 27 May 2011
- Published in Retail
No doubt, the boom of the retail sector ensures a very promising future ahead for the young aspirants. As the retail evolves along with the arrival of the international retail brands in the Indian market, there will be a whole ladder of careers in the near future.
Before you step into the retail industry, you need to contemplate over the nature of the job in this sector as it is not all the hunky dory or cushy sort work environment like jobs in other corporate sectors. In retail segments, one would require to put in a lot of hard work involving long working hours in the beginning of one's career. You may have to lift cartoons, managing database, maintaining records, deal with the whims, fancies and ire of the customers with patience and a smile on your face. Of course, there are proportionate rewards for every genuine work done and chances to move up the corporate ladder to rub shoulders with the world's best retailers like Wall-mart, Carrefours, My Dollar Store, to name only a few.
As far as the qualities of head and heart are concerned, an aspirant needs to have people's skills i.e. flair for talking with people of different mindset and behaviour pattern, with never ending enthusiasm in order to entertain them. Customer orientation is the prime focus of all the retailjobs.
The crucial factor of every retail personnel is to provide the customer quality products and quality services with an aim to promote sales. He/ she must be storehouse of high energy level and untiring dedication and determination to satisfy the customers by providing them quality service. One has to be responsible to his customers and company and perform with strong analytical skills and a good understanding of various concepts and functions of retailing. Neeti Chopra, Head Marketing, Trent Ltd., suggests to the young aspirants, "In this sector, there is no substitute for experience and observation - spend time in various stores, see how people buy and how the store works."
Acquiring Requisite Qualifications
In India, till recently, the retail sector was understated and underrated, but now it is in its full swing, capturing the top slot as the most wannabe sector, earlier dominated by IT sector. That's the major reason that the retail market is facing the problem of scarcity of human resources. There is a huge gap between the demand and supply. Retailers are desperately looking out for the professionally qualified candidates who possess a comprehensive insight of the retail industry. This has led many big names of the retail industry to step into the academic arena. Some have opened their in-house training schools to meet their specific demands whereas some others have started retail programmes in collaboration with established business schools. Some of these are:
(1) RPG Institute of Retail Management, Chennai
(2) Ebony Retail Academy, Delhi
(3) Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research -(PGPRM - Pantaloon)
(4) Institute of Business Studies & Research (IBSAR) in association with Retail Association of India.
(5) IILM Institute for Higher Education & Pantaloon Retail India Ltd.
6) MICA in association with Retail Association of India - offers
(i) visual merchandising and creative communication course (ii) 3-month programme on Professional retailing skills by Retail Association of India. /
Apart from these there is plethora of private as well as government institutions who have started various short term as well as long term programmes in various branches of retail management like programmes for visual merchandising, logistics or supply chain managements. Most of these programmes are offered to graduate students at post graduate level. There are very few programmes offered at bachelor's level. Details about these institutions are given separately in chapter on "Institutes and Courses"
What do the institutes look for in the aspirant before offering admission? Passion and enthusiasm for a career in retail is the first and foremost thing that most of the institutions consider before granting admission. They like to enroll those candidates who have unique combinations of strong customer orientation along with high leadership potential, academic excellence, individual experiences and fresh and innovative perspectives. To cite an example, the selection procedure of most of the private institutions like RPG, Welingkar, Ebony focuses on a strong academic background, personal attributes - an innovative approach, creative mindset, effective leadership qualities, result oriented, communication skills and a quest for excellence. The institutes seek candidates with a sincere desire to engage intellectually in the classroom and implement this knowledge practically in the industry.
Parameters on which efficiency of each candidate is generally assessed:
1) Good Academic Record Personal Attributes Life/people skills
2) Innovative approach to work related issues Ability to work under pressure
3) Prior Work Experience Extra Curricular Activities
Prior work experience in retail or marketing in a particular industry proves very useful for the candidate in later stages of one's career. Having already mentioned that in this industry there is no substitute for the field work or work experience. Practical knowledge gives an added advantage to the candidate.