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India ready to create world class retailers

India with a population in excess of 1 billion people has a growing middle market with an expanding disposable income and much of this will be in the hands of young consumers.

These new generation shoppers will – as we have seen in other developing markets and especially now in China – will seek out the world’s best brands, the world’s best service and the world’s best image. This in turn will drive retail at a frenetic pace as it moves from the traditional stores to organised modern day retail formats.

This enormous expansion in India’s retail industry will fuel an incredible demand for retail skills which – due to the current lack of developed retail operations – simply do not exist in India today.

It is estimated there will be the need for plus 20 million retail employees over the next decade.

Where will both local and international retailers find these skills? That is the question that was behind the creation of Great India B School which is specialising in the training and development of world class retail graduates. With two excellent modern learning campuses, one located in Lavasa and the other in Hyderabad and with both a Post Graduate Program in Retail Management and a Post Graduate Program in Retail Entrepreneurship, graduating students will be highly sought after in the expanding retail sector.

The Lavasa campus, (near Pune), delivers outstanding facilities in a “village” located in a beautiful valley overlooking a peaceful expanse of water and with an abundance of fresh air. The town is committed to energy efficiency, land conservation and is recycling sensitive. This campus is located in a perfect learning environment.

The campus in Hyderabad is a purpose built facility and in addition to the college there are separate accommodation blocks for female and male students as well as a separate building housing dining and recreation facilities.

Great India B School collaborates with the Australia Retail College, an institute with 22 years experience in retail education, and is also affiliated with the University of East London. These relationships provide students with the opportunity to not only learn retail skills from international retail experts and lecturers but also to continue on with their education to higher levels of achievement such as a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at an international education facility such as the Royal Docks Business School in the UK.

I was invited to visit the Great India B School in early November to present seminars on ‘The Basic Retail Drivers’, ‘Customer Behavior Types’, ‘The Role of Merchandising’ and with skills in retail mathematics ‘How to make 2+2=5’.

I was impressed with the Great India B School facilities and equally impressed with the determination of the college to produce world class retail graduates.

In my closing address I said: ”I am very impressed with the facilities, the college faculty and the quality of the students. I have no doubt graduates from Great India B School will not only play a substantial role in the development of retail in India but will also be in demand for international roles.”

The Great India B School is open for enrollments and new graduation courses commence in 2013. The school is already growing in local students and is already attracting interest from international students. Given it is an education facility dedicated to retail skills it is expected it will attract students from Asian and other countries.

Learning in such a dynamic retail market is a very unique opportunity.

For more on the Great India B School:

InsideRetail.Asia columnist Darrell Wisbey has 30 years retail experience, living and working in Australia and Asia. He is based in the Philippines and a member of Impact Retailing. Email Darrell.

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