Australian Retailers on Indian Turf

A group of six Australian retail students visited India to observe one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world.  STORAI reports.
Retail, in both India and Australia, has seen increasing globalised competition, due to increased multinational brand presence and a move to omni channel retailing. These changes create a demand, in India particularly, for internationally relevant retail skills.

The unprecedented growth in India, in the last decade is also challenging traditional views of skill transfer and giving birth to some creative talent development approaches.

RAI and its learning partner Great India Business School have collaborated with First Impressions Resources – the Australian Retail College and the Australian Government’s Outward Mobility program – to design a ten day Immersion Program which provided six Australian students with the opportunity to spend time in India meeting retailers, working in retail and observing front end operations.

The schedule included meetings with Retail Heads of HR, opportunities to work with their Indian counterparts on the shop floor and discussions with unemployed youth being trained to enter the sector.

Welcoming the group, Kumar Rajagopalan CEO of RAI said “India’s consumer market has experienced unprecedented growth in the last decade. The total size of the retail Industry is around US$500 Billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12%. With a land of inhabitants speaking around 2000 languages, highly populous cities and a globally exposed new generation, the country offers both huge opportunity for businesses and a number of large challenges to be met.”
Retail_Learning-2Scott Parker from Best and Less, and one of the participating students commented “Having access to senior management who so generously shared their time and knowledge with us to help understand the Indian retail market has been invaluable and greatly appreciated”.

Cindy Phelan, an Assistant Manager with KFC Brisbane, visited one KFC outlet in Hyderabad where70% of the staff have special needs and said “The highlight  was  to see that all staff are trained to use sign language and  flashing lights to communicate. Systems and tools used are the same as ours, however they have adapted different products to the Indian market and also offer home delivery service”.

Upon their return to Australia the students will collaborate to develop a report summarising their experiences and identifying suggestions for the Australian market to consider.

For information on Global Retail leadership Program or access to the report, please contact First Impressions Resources – the Australian Retail College 1800 at

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Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.