Manish has a very genuine assessment about the lively impact of foreign direct investment in retail sector in India. Most people who take interest in FDI in retail debate misses the below points which are extremely important at this juncture in Indian economy.
- We know that kirana (unorganised retail) shop owners are a much smaller population than exploited kirana workers. We know that unorganised retail is the biggest user of child labour. We know the tragic costs of informal employment (no PF, no ESI, no appointment letters and no minimum wages). We know that 100% of net job growth since 1991 has been in informal jobs; the slavery of the 21st century. We know that kids don’t view employment as a lifetime contract (mai-baap) but a taxicab relationship that is intense, intimate and short. We know that 10 lakh kids will be joining the labour force every month for the next 20 years. We also know that a sales job is the most blue-collar white-collar job. The notion that agricultural jobs or manufacturing jobs pay more, provide higher job satisfaction or offer better physical environments is not a myth; it is a lie. I am not sure where the romanticism of shop floor or fields comes from but our economy is driven by domestic consumption—strength as the global crisis enters its sixth year—and that means sales and customer service will be the biggest job creator in the next two decades. So, there is nothing horrible about “India becoming a nation of sales boys and girls”. This will be a less poor India.