decades in the retail industry. He started as a sales officer in Blow Plast Ltd,
which deals into manufacturing of VIP luggage and Leo toys. His last stint was
with Shoppers Stop where he spent close to two decades spearheading the retail
venture and grew it into one of the largest premium fashion brand in India. Nagesh
understands the heart and soul of retail and for a long time he wanted to work
for betterment of retail associates. So when he hung up his boots at Shoppers
Stop, he started TRRAIN in 2011 with an aim to work with retailers across the
country to provide better workplace environment to retail associates and also
work towards inclusive hiring.
B S Nagesh,
Nagesh: TRRAIN is born out of the need to help retail associates
reach their potential by giving them multiple opportunities to grow in their
organization. TRRAIN also lays emphasis on celebrating working in retail
industry. Every year more than 300 retailers in India celebrate Retail Employee
Day in their organizations to bring the retail associates into focus and
appreciate them for their constant efforts. It is an endeavor to encourage
employers and customers to acknowledge the efforts of retail
associates across the country. Brands celebrate it by conducting activities
in stores and office premises in order to applaud the services by associates.
associates who go out of their way to fulfill customers’ desires in TRRAIN
Retail Awards. It is an annual event where retail associates send entries
describing their work basis certain parameters. A well-informed jury conducts
an in depth session with the candidates before announcing the winners across
multiple categories in a grand ceremony which is attended by stalwarts of
retail sector. This year’s chief guest Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico
felicitated the winners.
which means helping more women and persons with disabilities get a job in the
retail sector. For this, we have a separate entity Pankh, it’s a joint
initiative by TRRAIN and Youth 4 Jobs. Under its banner, PwD are trained in a
60-day module about various roles in the industry. We also work with the
companies to hire PwD. In the last 6 years, we have placed more than 4,000 PwD
and our top recruiters in this category include names like Landmark Group,
Reliance Retail, HyperCity and D Mart.
in your sector?
Nagesh: Modern Retail in India is a relatively new industry and
with a boom in the online shopping, there are even more jobs being generated
and newer businesses being launched. The cumulative effect of these factors is
positive. According to a report published by FICCI – PwC last year, Indian
retail sector is expected to grow at CAGR 12% to reach $1 – 1.2 trillion by
2020. With the sector going through a series of changes, there is a need to
train more people to be job ready and TRRAIN aims to play a pivotal role when
it comes to training this large workforce and making sure that their needs at
work and outside of it are taken care of.
Nagesh: Being an entrepreneur and making a difference in so many
lives has been an important highlight of my journey. I have met parents of
retail associates who never thought that their son or daughter, who doesn’t
have a higher education or is disabled, would ever have a career. Their tales
and their spirit of never giving up is the most humbling experience of this
journey. What makes this journey more fulfilling is that my retail sector
counter parts have opened their doors to us by way of showing us enormous
support and by demonstrating their intent to improve things for shop floor
professional life, if any?
Nagesh: Unlike any business
enterprise running a not for profit or a social enterprise is very different as
it has to impact lives of people who are underprivileged or in our case that
have different disabilities. One needs to be patient and have perseverance.
Hiring the right talent continues to be a challenge. However we have been
fortunate that most of our senior colleagues have been with us for more than
Nagesh: We are a team of 8 in the
back office and another 4 in the field. We are planning to hire 3-4 more
colleagues for some of our new initiatives.
Nagesh: We have plans for each of
celebrated on the 12th of December in 3 countries. Our aim is to
spread the celebration to 10 million retail employees over the next 3-5 years.
already influenced global associations to appreciate and recognize Retail
Associates for their exemplary work. We aim to take this concept to many more
categories of retail as well as many more countries. We will now further
establish the awards through a digital platform.
livelihoods for the disabled has plans to provide livelihood for 10000 PWDS in
a year by 2021. We have provided livelihood for approx. 2300 PWD youth in
cover new category of employees in the skilling program in the coming years.
our marketplace for the retail employees sometimes during 2017.
empowering people in retail and making their lives better both at work and