Rise of the seller

Owing to an increase in the spending propensity of consumers, the demand for sales and marketing jobs in the city continues to be on the rise. Patricia Mascarenhas draws the chart

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Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, has a high concentration of potential consumers across different age groups and income segments. As a result of the significant purchasing power of consumers, a number of shopping malls and retail chains have mushroomed, which in turn has led to the rapid expansion of the retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Fast Moving Consumer Durables (FMCD), entertainment and hospitality sectors. In order to penetrate this highly competitive space, there is a new-found focus on strengthening the sales and marketing teams in urban as well as rural markets. As shared by a HR professional at Godrej, "Mumbai is an economic powerhouse that is home to a large manufacturing organisations. An influx of new e-commerce and consulting firms has led to an incremental requirement for jobs in the city".

According to insights shared by Randstad India, 35 to 50 per cent of employees currently work in sales and marketing roles across sectors, and it is estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of total sales and marketing jobs in Mumbai will be generated from the top 100 companies. "In the past, more than 100,000 sales and marketing jobs were generated in Mumbai. According to our estimates, the number is expected to witness an exponential growth in the near future, since companies from the pharmaceutical, consumer and services sectors are expanding at a rapid pace," informs Aditya Narayan Mishra, president – staffing, Randstad India. Also, with the gradual revival of the financial services industry, there is a growing need for distributing financial products to consumers, once again contributing to the growth of sales and marketing jobs. "The banking sector alone is expected to create around 50,000 jobs. As the public sector and rural banks expand, they will need to attract new customers and penetrate new markets with the help of the local workforce," adds Mishra.

Apart from the traditional sales and marketing jobs, profiles that support effective sales and meaningful marketing are also on the rise. "Our company uses tools like predictive analysis, consumer behaviour forecasting, sales alignment and sales incentives compensation, customer centric marketing, marketing channel mix optimisation etc. to help clients optimise their sales and better their marketing strategy," says Chaitrali Singh, director- HR-India, ZS adding that they are growing their India head count by 35 to 40 per cent every year with regards to consulting roles in sales and marketing. Godrej also has their head office in Mumbai, where they continue to see more positions being created in specialised sales and marketing functions and have expected an increase of 5-7 per cent in their sales staff. In addition to these profiles, there is a also a huge potential in digital media. Experts encourage young professionals to focus on niche skills like mobile platforms, gaming, e-commerce and big data analytics.

Due to the internet and the resultant global exposure, a new consumerism mindset which drives people to want more is coming to the fore. Thanks to technology, sales and marketing functions are evolving and becoming more complex. A number of decisions are driven by data. "Today, sales and marketing professionals need to be savvy and social in order to attract the sophisticated consumer," informs Singh adding that practices around forecasting, predictive analytics, sales optimisation, sales incentive compensation, sales territory alignment, social media marketing and customer centric marketing are some of the new streams that are emerging within this beat.

While this industry pays well, lucrative remuneration should not be the only criteria to opt for a career in this field. Successful sales and marketing professionals are passionate about their job, enjoy being on the road, are intrinsically driven by goals or targets, and like the social outgoing nature that this profession demands.

Industry experts suggest that this 'being on the road' lifestyle, is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you are socially outgoing, driven, like being in front of people and have persuasion skills, then its ones of the best careers to pursue.

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