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Executive Education: Buying & Merchandizing Programme for Reliance Retail

Participants pose for a picture after the programme
Participants pose for a picture after the programme

In today’s competitive retail market, Buying and Merchandising play a pivotal role in driving business performance. To address this, Jio Institute, along with Reliance Retail Sourcing and Buying Merchandising Academy, curated a 2-day Executive Education Programme. This programme was tailored for senior leaders in sourcing, buying and merchandising functions. Upon completion, the participants will be "Certified Senior Leader Buying and Merchandising" 

 The programme was attended by 39 participants from Reliance Grocery business, AJIO, trends, Electronics Business, Staple Sourcing and many others. The programme provided participants with insights into the science and art of buying and merchandising, incorporating best practices, cutting-edge strategic tools, and frameworks. 

The programme was facilitated by Mr Srikant Gokhale, Former Group CEO, of Landmark Group, Dubai and Lecturer of marketing – at the University of California, Berkeley, Hass School of Business. Mr Gokhale has over thirty years of professional experience in some of the largest retail companies in China and India. 

Mr Srikanth explained the concepts of strategy and value proposition- how to maximise gross profit and gross margin. He also talked about the synergy of different retail channels such as online, offline and omni and how they impact Buying and Merchandising.

Throughout the programme, participants engaged in interactive sessions focusing on key areas such as financial aspects of retail decision-making, strategic perspectives in buying and merchandising, and the impact of retail channels on these functions. Case studies were utilised to illustrate concepts and encourage practical application

In Module 2, the focus shifted to understanding customer trends, behaviour and insights. The participants gained an understanding of customer profiles, segmentation, and creating customer experience. Mr Srikanth then proceeded to use a case study to provide insights into customer loyalty, customer-centric retailing and visual merchandising & its impact on customer experience.

At the end of each module on both days, participants showcased their problem-solving skills by presenting solutions to case study challenges provided by the faculty. These case studies, encompassing both Indian and global contexts, were analysed for their real-life applications, enriching the learning experience.

The participants were also addressed by Mr Rajan Malhotra, Business Head – GM & Apparel, Grocery B2C and Mr GR Venkatesh, CHRO, Reliance Retail, during the programme. The guests talked about how the modules of the courses are designed to help them become better decision-makers, and understand retailing at a fundamental and simpler level and build on complex concepts. 

Participants also bonded over a cricket match and enjoyed the world-class sporting facilities at Jio Institute.   

This 2-day programme, comprising two modules on buying and merchandising, marks the beginning of a comprehensive 7-module Executive Education programme spanning four months. Conducted in a hybrid mode, it aims to deepen participants' understanding of buying and merchandising.

It will require participants to take back the learnings to their workplace, apply concepts and ideas, work on assignments provided by the faculty, and return to the classroom with results, and feedback and repeat the exercise to improve and learn to become better decision-makers.