Liberalisation of the Indian retail sector: an examination of macro level HR implications and challenge

Vijay Pereira, Rajan Kalakoti

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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 retailsector in an emerging market economy, India.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-486
JournalInternational Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management
Issue number4
Early online date20 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Event12th international human resource management conference - Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India
Duration: 10 Dec 201213 Dec 2012


  • India
  • retail
  • liberalisation
  • human-resources
  • internationalisation


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