According to the Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) published by A.T. Kearney (2012), India is the 5th most attractive retail destination in the world. The retail industry in India has been largely fragmented with small businesses dominating the retail landscape, with very few large players having multiple retail outlets. However, in the last few years, the industry has witnessed a significant growth in the number of large retailers having a chain of outlets across the country. This growth in the organised retail sector has driven primarily by large Indian retail organisations and conglomerates. With the government reducing the restrictions on foreign participation in Indian retail business by increasing the FDI cap on both single and multi-brand retail outlets, the industry is likely to see an explosive growth in the organised retail sector which accounts for only 8 percent of the total industry. With more foreign retailers poised to enter into the country, one of the key issues that the industry may face is finding the right quality of manpower. Literature suggests that in an industry which is characterised by players offering similar kinds of product assortments at similar price levels, success would be governed by the quality of service, which entails employees having the right skills and attitudes for offering quality service. Therefore, the two key issues that may be of importance for retailers are levels of skills and the motivation of the employees. However, according to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC, 2009), a significant skill gap exists in the industry, which may widen further in the years ahead, leading to greater challenges for organisa-tions. This paper highlights some of the challenges and issues which characterise the industry in India, and suggests how companies could look at these challenges and seek ways to overcome these challenges.
2. RESEARCH BACKGROUND