Is It Easy To Survive In The Retail Industry? Hear Mr. Hari Krshnan, Landmark Group, Alumnus SCMS Cochin

With his background in hospitality industry, Mr. Hari Krishnan joined SCMS Cochin School of Business in a bid to boost his career prospects.

With his background in hospitality industry, Mr. Hari Krishnan joined SCMS Cochin School of Business in a bid to boost his career prospects. The move paid off as he was recruited on campus by Spencer in the year 2007. He started off with the company as a Retail Management Trainee and worked his way up to be the Assistant Manager, Marketing, in just a few years’ time. But above all, he had gathered rich experience in the dynamic and extremely competitive retail industry, which has led him to bag the position of the Assistant Manager, Marketing with Landmark Group.

Mr. Krishnan has worked with the company for the past one year. Looking back on his journey filled with years of hard work and dedication he says, “Before joining SCMS Cochin I worked as a Banquet Manager in Kochi besides Dominos Pizza. I am happy I went to the institute because it got me placed with Spencer when the food and beverage industry was booming. Since then, there was no looking back.”

Today, Mr. Krishnan is a seasoned professional in the retail industry and has seen it evolve over the past few years. Sharing his insights on the industry he says, “Since I have worked in Food sector I can tell you that if you don’t show output, you won’t succeed. Retail has its pros and cons; the most important thing is investing in the right location because that’s something the customer pays attention too. Reaching people through public media remains the key to success as well.”

Mr. Krishnan believes that it is an industry where you can invest and grow. However today, many in the industry are not investing; trying to maintain what they have put in. That’s what makes him think that it could be the right time for Retail Banking. He also has useful advice for those who want to enter the industry. “Retail is not a white collar job because you have to get your hands dirty. But there are unlimited opportunities as you can take up any function from marketing to finance and operations,” he adds.

Ask Mr. Krishnan about the major benchmarks in his career so far, the avid learner is quick to mention, “Managing the 22,000 sq ft Spencer store in Chennai, which was doing Rs. 26 lakhs average selling per day was a big high. But more than that I appreciate the biggest learning I had there; I was taught to say NO. It is a learning you will need in every industry because at one point or another, you will have to say NO to clients or customers. If you keep saying yes and don’t deliver, then it’s a big sign of failure.”

He has definitely taken his learning on board, which he uses in his current job profile in merchandising, for the Dubai based MNC. Mr. Krishnan handles Kerala marketing operations from the office in Kochi. He remains as passionate about the retail industry as he was during his time at SCMS Cochin where he first realized his calling. He believes it was the time when he learned to be assertive and control his emotions. But he gets emotional talking about the institute where he has been a couple of times since and stays in touch with his batch mates. 

So if Mr. Krishnan were to hire from his institute, what are the attributes he’d look for? Without batting an eyelid he says, “I will not look for the mark sheet but pay attention to their communication skills and body language.” That’s something present students at the institute could do well knowing. Mr. Krishnan concludes with further sound advice for students, “Be focussed on what’s good for your career. Take the good from wherever you might be. If you want to join the Retail Industry, make sure you are ready to start from the scratch and see yourself rise.”