Title: Liberalisation of the Indian retail sector - an examination of macro level HR implications and challenges

Authors: Vijay Pereira; Rajan Kalakoti

Addresses: Department of Human Resource and Marketing Management, University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3DE, UK ' Department of Human Resource and Marketing Management, University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3DE, UK

Abstract: This conceptual paper examines the prospects of liberalisation of the Indian retail sector, with a futuristic eye on the macro level human resources (HRs) implications and challenges. Drawing on broader theoretical concepts from the existing literature on globalisation and liberalisation, such as the 'race to the bottom' (RTB) and 'bottom of the pyramid' (BOP), it aims to first, look at the challenges global retail giants would face in order to adapt their organisational culture to the Indian business context. Second, in terms of sustainability, it looks at how the retail sector would cope with the vast requirement and challenges of its workforce. In doing so it identifies various implications on demographics, unemployment, indigenous traditions, RTB and reforms. This paper also identifies among others, three major challenges in the form of bureaucracy, corruption and online retail battles. It concludes by framing a conceptual model based on the implications and challenges discussed above. This paper thus contributes to new knowledge in the form of futuristic macro level HR implications and challenges within the prospective liberalisation of the retail sector in an emerging market economy, India.

Keywords: India; retail industry; liberalisation; macro level; human resources; internationalisation; human capital; human resource management; HRM; globalisation; race to the bottom; bottom of the pyramid; BOP; organisational culture; sustainability; retail sector; workforce requirements; workforce challenges; demographics; unemployment; indigenous traditions; bureaucracy; corruption; online retail; emerging markets; emergency economies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICBM.2014.065199

International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, 2014 Vol.9 No.4, pp.468 - 486

Received: 01 May 2013
Accepted: 24 Jul 2013

Published online: 16 Oct 2014 *

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