Training in the FMCG industry of India

Be it training or earning, business in the FMCG industry is facing a strong growth every day in our country. As per the statistics of the Retail Sales Index, the rate of sales is decreasing. Competition from online sales is one of the major factors as consumers are getting more and more options and reasons to purchase online. Moreover, competitors are looking to enter this aggressive marketplace in which there is a broad range of products and the margins are low. It is important for the consumer-facing employees to be aware of all the information on the products so that they can compete for space on the retail shelf.

Understanding apprenticeship levy (Not Yet Applicable in India) 

The training industry is currently facing yet another criticism: the way apprenticeship levy is introduced. The international retailers opine that this is a useless tax that is levied on their revenues given the fact that in most cases, they have an active graduate and training program. As of now, no such provision is made by GoI but we don’t know if in future we also have a levy on apprenticeship. However such things are not of a great concern presently. 

Measuring training impact as an ROI

There are various ways in which impact on training in the FMCG business can be assessed and some of them are discussed below:

Customer net promoter

Some businesses ask the consumers to fill out a form or a net promoter score whenever they purchase anything. They are offered a cash prize or holiday voucher on winning. When rolling out a consumer service program, the customer net promoter score can help in assessing it. For instance, if a very less number of consumers are filling out the feedback form via promoter, it suggests that the employees are not taking care of their job as expected. Also, the employees must check how many consumers are giving positive feedback. This can be linked back to the customer service training to the net promoter to derive desired results from it. 

Engagement of the employee

Most of the businesses prepare an employee engagement survey for checking and understanding the areas where people feel engaged and where they do not. When the workforce is quite engaged, they have a proper learning culture and it becomes easier to determine the number of effective training programs that have been rolled out over a stipulated period of time. This information can be linked to improving employee engagement in order to evidence the comprehensive impact of the training.

Learner feedback

No matter whether a business runs a face to face or blended training courses, asking for feedback is one of the best ways to find out how effective it has been. Though some companies still use their happy sheets, most industries are now shifting to use their online portal for gaining the feedback, making it easier to aggregate as well as analyze the data.

Mystery shopping

Most FMCG businesses tend to outsource their own mystery shopping to other specialist businesses who have in-depth knowledge of it. This feedback also serves as a wonderful way of understanding the impact of the training. For instance, a business might run a training program about aggressive business management in the store. The mystery shopper could be asked to approach a number of stores and behave aggressively. Right after the training program, the mystery shopper can be asked to review how the aggressive situation was handled.

All these challenges have made it imperative that the FMCG sector should undergo proper training from time to time. The employees are greatly benefitted from training in areas such as professional selling skills, sales training and most importantly, product knowledge. It helps the employees to leverage their skills within a team for bridging the challenges and problems in the decline of sales.

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