New Delhi: Foreign direct investment in fast-growing retail sector will "significantly" boost hiring activities and has the potential to create about 80 lakh jobs in the country, feel experts.
"Retail industry had been waiting for FDI clearance from the government for a long time. The decision to raise FDI limits (in single brand retail) will act as a life saving drug and is a big boost to the industry," executive search firm GlobalHunt Director Sunil Goel said.
"If all goes well across the level, the country should be able to create 60-80 lakhs jobs," Goel added.
Some experts refrained from quantifying the number of job opportunities due to opening up of the retail sector as the details such as the number of how players who will come in, is not clear.
But they were unanimous on the fact that there will be "substantial" job creation.
"If FDI in retail is implemented a lot of organised players will be coming in. We would see increase in employment opportunities in the retail sector and associated sectors such as sourcing and logistics," staffing solutions provider TeamLease Services Managing Director Ashok Reddy said.
Ma Foi Randstad's MD and CEO E Balaji also believes FDI in retail will give a big boost to hiring activity in India in retail and associated sectors.
"After FDI in retail is implemented, a lot of MNC companies will come and bring with them their own practices and their own policies and all of them will be big scale players," Balaji said.
He cited the example of US-based Walmart, which alone employees close to 1.8 million people.
The Centre has decided to put on hold the controversial decision on FDI in retail sector, in an apparent bid to break the Parliament logjam.
Experts, however, said all the jobs will not happen in the very first year itself and that it will be in a phased manner. Cumulatively, however, it will be a fairly substantial number.
The growth in the retail sector will be seen in Tier 1 cities first and would gradually extend to the Tier II and Tier III towns, experts said.
"Since retail companies will take some time to establish their network and infrastructure to do business in the new towns they venture into, the prospect of job creation will increase over time," recruitment process outsourcing firm Elixir Consulting Executive Director Richie Madan said.
The general perception is that retail is only restricted to certain areas but there is a greater potential of retail in pharma, healthcare services, agro-business and services sector, experts said.
On November 24, the government allowed 51 percent FDI in the multi-brand retail, paving way for global chains like WalMart, Carrefour and Tesco to open mega stores. It also removed the 51 percent cap on FDI in single brand format.
Though corporate India hailed the decision, there has been a deadlock in Parliament on the FDI issue, with allies Trinamool Congress and DMK also voicing opposition to permitting FDI in multi-brand retail.