Wings of Fire

Recently during my visit to a shopping mall i bumped into a smart young lady whose face appeared familiar. After sometime the lady walked upto to me and said that she has met me before. We tried recalling the places we would have met and finally recalled that I had met her during a retail store opening in a tier 2 town.

I had a flashback of my interactions with her many years ago. As a management trainee I was assigned the task of opening a store in a new town. A town which had no exposure to modern retail. I went about my task alongwith the newly appointed team, which was young energetic but with little or no experience in retail. These young boys and girls came from lower middle families and were from the same town. This was entirely new experience to them. I began enjoying the whole process of setting up the store with a new team. After a few days of interaction found that there was this young lady among the team of store assistants who was highly energetic, she was the first to reach the store in the morning and the last to leave. The chaos of a store opening did not dither her spirits, she stacked products after products without complaining about the monotony of the job, infact after its placement she asked our opinion for she wished to see her section the most beautiful. She looked for tasks if there were no products to be placed on the shelves. When the store opened she was the one who would walk upto to the customer and helped them in their shopping. During those few days I was impressed with her, for here was a lady with very little formal education who could communicate only in the local language, no experience on the job, no product knowledge but had a burning desire to prove herself. After a few days of interaction lost touch with her.

Post many years now this lady was standing in front of me sharply dressed in formals, speaking fluently  in english ,handling a department with a turnover of more than fifty lacs a month in a metro city. THIS IS THE MAGIC WHICH IS POSSIBLE ONLY IN RETAIL. The company helped her to groom herself, aim higher, gave her the necessary support and provided her the right opportunities thereby giving wings to her dreams.

In this context I remember a CEO of a company once telling about his experience. He met a mother of an employee who said ‘thank you’ to him. He further went to say that the mother said ‘thank you’ not for the money which came at the end of the month but ‘thank you’ for the pride the job had bought to her family. She said when her daughter walks out of the home to the store every morning in the uniform she walks with head held high, when the uniform is hung on the wall the family looks at it with pride, the discipline ,the mannerism retail has taught her daughter has been percolated in  the family. The family which had no exposure to the organized till then is learning its ways of life through the eyes of her daughter, hence the ‘thank you’. This is the power of retail he said.

In country like ours where there is large number of people especially in tier 2 and 3 towns where the exposure to education is limited and so it the opportunity in the organized sector, modern retail is a ray of hope. Retail provides them the wings to dreams.

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