HR Management in Indian Apparel Retail Sector

Moin Khan
Department of Management Studies
RTM University
Nagpur, India


The success of an organization largely depends on its human resource. Human resource management (HRM) plays a vital role in achieving the organizational objectives. The retail apparel sector has played a phenomenal role in India with tremendous contribution to the Indian economy. Apparel retailing sector has been observing tremendous changes with the entry of organized apparel retail companies. The organized apparel retailing in India is undergoing a metamorphosis and is expected to scale up to meet international standards. In this world of cut throat competition the need for effective HRM practices has been increasing rapidly. In order to face this tough competition of global economy, the organized apparel retailers in India have started to realize the need for efficient manpower and hence, strengthening their business with the help of HRM activities. The HRM practices, therefore, have become their prime concern. The present paper is an attempt to analyse the HRM practices implemented in the organized apparel retail sector in India. The study also throws light on the human resource (HR) challenges faced by the sector and suggested measures to improve the work culture in Indian scenario.
Human resource management
Human Resource Management (HRM)
The Indian apparel retail industry has total revenue of $39,102 million in 2014, representing a compound growth rate of 9.9 %. Sales of menswear proved the most lucrative for the Indian apparel retail industry in 2009, with total revenues of $11,864.4 million, equivalent to42.2% of the market's overall value. The most profitable segment is women’s clothing, accounting for 53 percent of total revenue, says franchise help. Selling apparel is a very seasonal business, with a majority of sales coming during the holidays and when kids are headed back to school

The Human resource management includes conducting job analyses, planning personnel needs, recruiting the right people for the job, orienting and training, managing wages and salaries, providing benefits and incentives, evaluating performance, resolving disputes, and communicating with all employees at all levels. Examples of core qualities of HR management are extensive knowledge of the industry, leadership, and effective negotiation skills. Formerly called personnel management. The HRM practices in the service sector especially in the area of apparel retailing have found significant importance in the present scenario. The retailing is one of the service sectors where the need of qualitative human resource is highly expected.


Depending on the size of the number of vacancies or if it’s a new store then campus recruitment is done or recruitment is done through recruiters and consultants. For shop floor sales requirement advertisement is put up in the local newspapers.

Selections are based on group discussions & interviews. Some retailers take an entrance test followed by group discussion and personal interview.


It is one of the most controversial systems within human resource. No one in any organization is ever happy with the system because it explores the bitter truth of an employee. It is inherently conflict based because it is subjective and differs from person to person.

Retail industry has finally taken shape in india, and is experiencing a rapid growth. Since organized retail is growing tremendously procuring trained human resource for retail is a big challenge. The talent base is limited and with the entry of big retailers in the market there is a huge demand of trained and skilled professionals in this sector. This has led 494 almas sultana many retailers to introduce learning and development department within the organization.

Compensation is payment for services rendered to an organization by an employee. Compensation may me direct or indirect compensation & is a motivator for employees at all levels.

Incentives and recognition: every retailer is looking at various ways to motivate their employees and reduce attrition rate. Introduction of rewards, incentives and recognition of employee is increasingly becoming popular within the industry. Retailers like pril have launched perk performance enhancement reward kit and star performer of the month in their stores. They are used to reward performance at the individual, team and organizational level.

It is a management tool to correct employee behaviour


  • Impressive industry growth rate
  • MNCs would bring in robust practices in the industry
  • Industry encourages innovative HR practices to engage employees
  • Institutes having retail market understanding being closely involved in the sector
  • Deficiency of skilled and experienced professionals especially at the middle and the senior level management
  • High attrition, around 50%, leading to focus on continuous recruitment
  • Continuous need towards skill development of employees.
  • It accounts for around 8% of employment
  • Creation of 10 million jobs in 10 years. Second largest employer after agriculture
  • Attracts large pool due to minimum qualification requirement of 10+2.
  • With the opening up of the sector, creation of enough skilled workers to cater to the demand is crucial
  • Career progression is a challenge as a majority of the workforce is young and expects good progression
  • Attractive compensation at all levels is a critical factor
  • Indian retailers need creative HR practices to manage a huge workforce in a competitive environment enhance the competency and retention of their employees. 
  • There are too many companies chasing too little talent. The retailers should maintain their goodwill in the overall employment market by communicating its attributes in a way that distinguishes the company from the competitors. 
  • Find the right talent that is willing to commit over the long-term. 
  • Attractive compensation package should be provided to the employees which includes both direct (salaries, commission and bonuses) as well as indirect payments (paid vacations, health and life insurance and retirement plans). 
  • The problem of attrition is very common nowadays. Retaining is more challenging than hiring. Hence, retailers must examine different strategies which they can use to reduce turnover and boost the morale of their employees
The human resource management practices are vital for the growth and development of and business or sector. These practices have significantly evolved in the apparel retailing sector also. The retailers especially organized retailers are nowadays placing a greater emphasis on the HRM practices which includes recruitment, selection, performance appraisal, training and development, compensation, career planning, etc. Apart from this the sector is facing some problems relating to its human resource like lack of skill, lack of formal education in retailing, workforce attrition, threat of poaching and complicated human resource environment. It means that the HRM practices in the organized retail industry needs greater attention in the near future to make it more competitive.

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  2. Karrupasamy, r., & kumar, n.r. (2014). Human resource practices in organized retailing- a study of selected retailers. International journal of engineering and management sciences, 5(1), 17-21.
  3. Almas sultana, human resource management in organized retail industry in india global journal of finance and management. Issn 0975-6477 volume 6, number 6 (2014).
  5. Dr. C.b gupta” human resource management. 


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