Retailing is the latest buzzword among the business. This newest fad is getting high visibility media coverage. Dynamic young people as well as blue-chip companies are suddenly taking pride in calling themselves shopkeepers. This profession is able to attract the cream of talent from management institutes. The amazing irony about the retail industry is that it exists, in fact, flourishes, in spite of an industrial slump. As far as the western world is concerned the retailing market operates virtually at saturation point.
Retailing in India is evolving rapidly, with consumer spending growing by unprecedented rates and with increasing no of global players investing in this sector. Organised retail in India is undergoing a metamorphosis and is expected to scale up to meet global standards over the next five years. Indias retail market has experienced enormous growth over the past decade. The most significant period of growth for the sector was between year 2000 & 2006, when the sector revenues increased by about 93.5% translating to an average annual growth of 13.3%.The sectors growth was partly a reflection of the impressive Indian economic growth and over all rise in income level of consumers.
Apparels and consumer durables are the fastest growing vertical in the retail sector. Mobile phone as a product category has witnessed the highest growth in the consumer demand amongst all retail products offering, with increasing penetration of telecommunication in towns and villages. The telecommunication sector has been adding on an average 5 million new users every month. The other product categories are gaining traction predominantly in the urban areas and emerging cities, with increasing average income and spending power of young urban India.
Against the backdrop of an ageing world, India processes the advantages of having a largely young population. 35% of Indias population is under 14 years of age and more than 60% of the population is estimated to constitute the working age group (15-60) till 2050.Two-third of Indian population is under 35, with the median age of 23 years, as opposed to the world median age of 33. India is home to 20% of the global population under 25 years of age. This trend is projected to continue for the next decades. The large proportion of the working age population translates to a lucrative consumer base vis--vis other economic of the world, placing India on the radar as one of the most promising retail destination of the world.
Tanveer Malik is Asst. Professor, Ajay S. Joshi and Sweta Pandit are Lecturers at Shri Vaishnav Institute of Technology and Science, Indore