December 9, 2023

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RIL’s retail arm on a hiring overdrive

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, the group’s retail holding company, is also trying to fill 60,000 junior to mid-level positions over the next three quarters, many of them at its outlets.

The hiring plans come at a time the retail business has tied up with several global brands, opened new outlets and plans to open many more in the next few months.

“The retail business of Reliance Industries has mammoth expansion plans, which includes hiring 150-200 senior executives who will be given posts of vice-president and above. They are being recruited from the competition and global chains,” said the head of an executive search firm, who did not want to be named.

Reliance Retail Ventures has inked several tie-ups in the past few months. They include unit Reliance Retail Ltd signing a long-term franchise agreement with American apparel firm Gap Inc in July.

A month before that, another unit, Reliance Brands Ltd, announced a strategic partnership with global fresh food and organic coffee chain Pret A Manger.

Reliance Retail operates both online and offline stores, including Reliance Smart, Reliance Trends, Reliance Digital,, and JioMart.

Reliance Brands’ current portfolio of brand partnerships comprises Armani Exchange, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, and Manish Malhotra, among several other high-end brands.

Earlier this year, Reliance Retail acquired women’s footwear brand Catwalk and the India franchise rights for Sunglass Hut.

These plans come into effect as the conglomerate under chairman Mukesh Ambani embarks on a succession-planning mode.

In June, son Akash Ambani was given the reins of the telecom business Reliance Jio. Daughter Isha Ambani is expected to take over the retail arm.

“The company is also looking at different stock option plans to attract senior talent, but no one structure has been finalized,” the search firm executive added.

Consulting firm Bain is working with the top team of the retailer, but both Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd and Bain did not respond to Mint’s queries.

A junior to middle management recruiter hired by Reliance said the company boosted store-level hiring, especially in north India, from the June quarter. Reliance Retail opened 720 stores in the quarter, taking the total count to 15,916.

According to its latest earnings announcement, Reliance Retail added more than 17,000 jobs during the quarter for a total of 379,000.

“Currently, the hiring what they’re doing is on the temp or the staffing level hiring. So, the major chunk got hired in north India, along with pockets of Madhya Pradesh. But major hiring happened around Delhi, Chandigarh, Rajasthan—in these belts,” he said on the condition of anonymity.

The recruiter said the retail business expects to see similar hiring momentum in the coming months in other regions.

“Hiring has started keeping in mind the festive season where contracts are signed with temporary staff for at least six months. Other than that, the new store openings are another reason why the numbers have picked up. They are now going for only experienced hires and freshers only in certain scenarios,” he added. Each store requires 30-35 people across different roles.

Salaries for the newly hired at junior levels will start from 25,000- 30,000 a month.

“They are looking at very aggressive (hiring) numbers, and that’s why they are onboarding big players like us, for them to be able to hire simultaneously across regions,” he added.

Meanwhile, electronics retail chain Reliance Digital is set to add 40 stores over the next couple of months. The chain has already opened 26 stores since April, a top executive at the chain said.

Rebranding former Big Bazaar stores to ‘Smart Bazaar’ by Reliance Retail has started, and hundreds of such stores will welcome shoppers across the country in the coming weeks, the person said, requesting anonymity.

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