Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Point & Counterpoint: Employment Vs Entrepreneur approach to leverage Retail opportunities

Every interaction is a give and take, even when one is teaching or training. This was validated after a recent interaction with students of a B School about Retail. A few of them came up to me and in the midst of the typical queries about FDI, future or Retail, etc., they asked me something which has actually set me thinking and the take out I got from this session.
They wanted to know whether the expected Retail boom had entrepreneurial possibilities similar to what happened during the IT boom.
Invariably I keep talking about the great employment potential and career opportunities in the Retail sector and this question has taught me to think in a whole new perspective.
While I answered that there are indeed entrepreneurial opportunities, I would like to share my views for comments and inputs from others simply because such opportunities definitely exist.
Some initial ideas which can be built upon and experimented with are;
  • Partner, take over or even start a standalone store which follows the “Basic Retail Model” and will therefore offer a viable value proposition. Franchising is a good option to explore.
  • Set up a consolidation business for the small vendors who typically are not covered by the existing distribution system. One recent discussion I had with a person was about trying to do something along these lines for the vegetable sellers in his village.
  • As I often point out Tier II and II towns are great growth stories waiting to happen. Explore that.
  • Chain stores today require many support activities and that presents a whole new world of entrepreneurial options. For example; Physical stock checks are a tedious and painful process. If a credible service to manage this is given, there might be takers.
The underlying theme in all these ideas is a strong focus on a sustainable and viable value proposition.
Lastly, thanks to this question by the student I will start to build upon inputs that will help Retail related Entrepreneurship which has a great future.
The point to debate is, I was asked about entrepreneurial opportunities by a few students out of my interactions with 1,000 plus students in the past year. Before talking Retail entrepreneurial ideas, should we focus on kindling and developing a basic entrepreneurial spirit?
Click here to share your views and join this discussion on my Facebook page