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52% of Indian retailers to onboard fresh graduates in FY25: Report

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In 2023, the retail industry experienced an 8% rise in job applications, while demand surged by 18%, indicating a robust interest in retail roles

 New Delhi: More than half of all retailers (52%) are planning to onboard fresh graduates in the fiscal year (FY) 2025, while two out of five (38%) seek to recruit experienced professionals, as per a survey by Gi Group Holding, a company offering temporary and permanent staffing solutions with presence in over 60 countries.

In 2023, the retail industry experienced an 8% rise in job applications, while demand surged by 18%, indicating a robust interest in retail roles. About 86.86% of applicants were aged between 18 and 30. Tier-1 cities emerged as hubs for job seekers, constituting 58.49% of the total applicant pool, followed by tier-2 and tier-3 towns.

The logistics sector faced a 13.89% decline in active jobs during the third quarter of FY24, attributed to challenges during peak season fulfilment. However, the onset of 2024 saw a 10.24% increase in new job postings.

The survey also revealed that diversity hiring is a focus, with 30% of retailers seeking female candidates and 40% of e-commerce firms prioritising DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives

“India’s retail, e-commerce and logistics sectors have witnessed phenomenal growth fueled by factors such as increasing internet penetration, smartphone adoption, and a burgeoning middle class,” said Sonal Arora, country manager at GI Group Holding.

According to the research, e-commerce is projected to reach Rs 26 trillion by 2030 from its current market size of Rs 8.2 trillion. Furthermore, the post-Covid years have witnessed a surge in retail consumption, fuelled by Gen Z and women, who account for 42% of this growth. Cities with fast and healthy e-commerce growth include Bengaluru (93%), Mumbai (92%), and Chennai (88%).

The report also highlights the pressing need for skill development, with 83% of retailers expressing a desire to close skill gaps in sales/marketing, followed closely by logistics (77%) and tech/analytical skills.

Businesses experiencing growth demonstrate a higher level of tech adoption, extending beyond e-commerce platforms to logistics firms, which are increasingly turning to cloud solutions (54%) and AI automation (37%) for last-mile deliveries.

“This growth has led to a surge in demand for efficient logistics solutions to handle last-mile delivery challenges, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. E-commerce, retail giants and startups alike are investing heavily in technology-driven logistics infrastructure, including warehouses, fulfilment centres and delivery networks, to streamline operations and elevate customer experience,” added Arora.

The report also points out that, post-Covid, e-commerce and related apps (55%) saw a slightly higher sustained increase in demand compared to on-demand delivery apps for food and groceries (45%). The most in-demand product categories in the domain are electronics and gadgets (67%), beauty and personal care (46%) and fashion and lifestyle (42%).

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