Though retail firms like Hypercity, Croma, Lifestyle have taken in differently abled, the percentage in the overall retail industry remain minuscule. The $500-billion retail sector employs more than 3.3 crore people. The industry is expected to touch $1.3 trillion by 2020, by when employment will also more than double. “But unlike IT, the spread of retail is vast. IT is concentrated in pockets around metros. But retail has a larger geographic reach. So we can create jobs near small towns and villages from where the youth come,” says BS Nagesh, from the Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (Trrain).
Research conducted jointly by Accenture and NGO Pankh amongst 47 HR representatives from retail organisations states that retailers believe having differently abled reduces attrition, thereby hiring costs. About 70% of the respondents of this research witnessed that average attrition rates of differently abled was 3.3%, compare with the average industry figure of 6.8%. “Differently abled stick around with employers longer,” says Vineet R Ahuja, principal, management consulting, Accenture. The research also reveals that the productivity of differently abled is about 7% more than others. About 60% respondents felt the disabled were more productive than other employees. This is because the differently abled concentrate better, “and are determined to succeed when given right opportunities. They look for career growth and promotion within their organisations actively,” says Nagesh.