CAREER GUIDE Friday, October 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India
  Comfortable work environment in store!
Manoj Kumar
HE Indian Government may still be contemplating to open the retail sector for foreign investors, but it is already registering a sharp increase in business, thereby opening more job opportunities for the youth. According to industry representatives, the number of department stores is increasing at a rapid pace.




Comfortable work environment in store!
Manoj Kumar

Salesgirls at a department store
Salesgirls at a department store.
— Tribune photo by Pankaj Sharma

THE Indian Government may still be contemplating to open the retail sector for foreign investors, but it is already registering a sharp increase in business, thereby opening more job opportunities for the youth. According to industry representatives, the number of department stores is increasing at a rapid pace.

Like any industrial unit, a typical department store offers employment opportunities to about 100 persons. The average turnover of a department store selling apparel, jewellery, cosmetics and food could be between Rs 10 and Rs 15 crore.

A number of swanky department stores and multiplexes have come up in Noida, Gurgaon, Delhi and other towns. Some retail chains like Ebony, JD Super Market, Peshawaris and Cossets have set up their stores in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar and other towns.

Job opportunities

Says Mr Gautam Mehra, Business Manager, Ebony Retail Holdings Ltd Chandigarh: "During the past few years, the retail sector has emerged as a major sector, offering job opportunities to the skilled youth in sales, marketing, finance, computer work, merchandise and supportive services. However, about 50 per cent of these jobs are in the sales segment only."

Entry-level jobs

A smart and young graduate with "good communication skills and pleasing personality, besides a flare for selling and interacting with customers" can expect to get a job in sales at the entry level. The salary of the entrants varies between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,500 per month, depending on the bargaining power of the candidate and reputation of the store. Mr Mehra adds: "We are recruiting three or four persons every month in our store. What we look for in a candidate is confidence, presentable looks, good communication skills and above all enthusiasm. One must always be ready to work with a smile. It is not the educational degree but the right attitude that is important to us."

Higher salary with experience

Since it is an emerging sector, there is a shortage of skilled persons in the market. A person with an MBA in marketing/finance and having two to three years of experience in the retail sector can earn between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per month. Mr Mehra, who has done an MBA from Amritsar and has worked in textiles, earns about Rs 4.5 lakh annually.

Mr Darpan Kapoor of the Kapson stores says," We are always on the lookout for experienced candidates. Salary is negotiable for the right candidates."

More opportunities for girls

Department store owners admit that girls having good looks and articulation skills have better chances of getting jobs. Ms Neelam Saini, a customer service executive at Ebony stores, Chandigarh, says: "About two years ago, after completing my graduation, I had joined the store at a monthly salary of Rs 2,500 only. Now I earn over Rs 5,000 per month by way of salary and incentives on meeting the sales targets."

Comfortable working environment

Unlike industrial units and small shops, the work environment at department stores is congenial. "There is no fear of eve-teasing or misbehaviour by customers or employers," says a sales girl at a leading store. Ms Neelam adds: "Besides earning, I feel more confident and assertive after joining the job. I feel at ease here since the customers are generally decent and the work conditions good."


Is paragliding taught in any varsity?

Q Could you please tell me something about paragliding? Is it taught in any university?

Dilsher Atwal, Ludhiana

A Paragliding has evolved into a popular flying sport all over the world. It’s sheer simplicity and convenience, makes it possible for even a layman to experience the thrill of flying. This sport has international recognition.

Although paragliding does not form part of any university curriculum, there are many flying clubs and associations that conduct short-term courses for beginners.

Typically, the course begins with orientation, ground handling techniques and the basic theory required to keep you safe and informed. To begin with, you will take off from a manageable height of 200 ft. and graduate to more ambitious heights till you are able to confidently handle solo flights. All the while, you will be assisted and guided by instructors.

You could contact your nearest flying club, adventure foundation or NCC centre for more information. Similarly, surf the Internet for details of various international paragliding associations and contests.

Gender studies

Q I want to do a course in Gender Studies. Kindly give me more details about the subject and also the job prospects.

Aabha Mishra, Faridkot

A Most universities offer gender studies as part of the undergraduate programme in social sciences. At the PG level the scope for in-depth studies is limited to specialisation in specific gender issues. Avenues for research after the Master’s level tend to widen. The Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, the Centre for Women & Development Studies, Delhi, the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata, and the Tata Institute of Social sciences, Mumbai, offer opportunities for research.

This is not a subject for bookworms who are content with theoretical study. Extensive field work is required for conducting surveys and disseminating awareness. You must be passionate about doing your bit for creating an equitable society. Besides the government, which is involved in gender sensitisation programmes, NGOs also offer good opportunities for advocacy and field work. They pay a modest Rs 10,000 - 12,000. Foreign-sponsored projects pay better. So if you are interested in giving the fair sex a fair chance, go for it.


Q I want to become a neurosurgeon. How do I go about becoming one? Which are the leading institutes offering neurosurgery as a discipline?

Himanshu Som

A For becoming a neurosurgeon, you first need an MBBS degree followed by an MS (Master of Surgery) degree.

After completing your MS you have to enrol for MCh in neurosurgery, which is usually a 3-year super-specialisation (a few colleges also offer a 2-year programme).

Alternatively, straight after doing your MBBS and completing your internship you could opt for a direct 5-year course leading to a Diplomate of the National Board of Examinations (DNB). For this, you must first qualify the Common Primary Examination, which is of the standard of the MBBS course. After completing 1-year of postgraduate training in the general surgery department and 4 years in the neurosurgery department of an accredited hospital or postgraduate training institution, you can take the Final Examination of the Board. Some of the leading medical institutions offering super-specialisation (MCh) in neurosurgery:

Patna Medical College (Patna Univ), Patna.

The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh.

The All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

Maulana Azad Medical College (Univ of Delhi), New Delhi.

SMS Medical College (Univ of Rajasthan), Jaipur.

The Institute of Medical Sciences, (Banaras Hindu Univ), Varanasi

Financial courses

Q Could you please tell me about the courses conducted by the National Stock Exchange and other such organisations related to the financial market?

Pradeep Rajan

A The National Stock Exchange (NSE) offers Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM) to test and certify people in specialised areas like derivatives, debt markets, depository operations etc, for manning the terminals at stock exchanges or working with banks and mutual fund companies in the financial market. Eligibility: +2 and familiarity with computers. The online test comprising 60-70 questions (Fee: Rs. 500/-) can be taken year-round at any of the accredited test centres in six cities. Details

The certification is only valid for 3 years after which you have to re-appear in the test to continue as a broker. Log on to for details.

The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), 1218, ‘B’ Wing, Dalamal Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021. The AMFI MF Testing Programme is designed to give fund distributors the knowledge and insight required for them to become both better agents and more informed investment advisers. Even mutual fund employees need to understand the complexities of how the funds function internally and externally. The online test has been made mandatory by SEBI for all agent distributors. Details:

The Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai ( Course: Postgraduate Diploma in Investment Management (1-yr, including 2-mnth practical training).

ICFAI University, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034 ( The CFA course is a PG programme in financial analysis. Also offers several other related courses.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, ICSI House, 22, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003. Course: PG Membership Course in Capital Market & Financial Services.

The Institute of Capital Market Development, 1965, Arya Samaj Road, Karol Bagh, Delhi 110005. Course: Fundamentals of Capital Market. Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree.

The All-India Centre for Capital Market Studies, J D B Institute of Management Studies & Research, Nasik 422005. Course: PG Diploma in Capital Market Studies (under the aegis of Bombay Stock Exchange Training Instt). Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree.

The Institute of Financial & Investment Planning, B/303, Ventex Vikas, MV Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400 069. Course: Diploma in Financial & Investment Planning (Corresp).

The UTI Institute of Capital Markets, Plot 82, Sector-17, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400705. Courses (resid/non-resid): Professional development programmes in Financial Markets and Treasury Management for working professionals with basic knowledge of Capital Markets. Fees: Rs. 3,500 - 4000/-.

Bajaj Capital Business School, Bajaj House, 97 Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019. Ph: 26418903-06. Course: Foundation in Financial Planning (FT 10 wk/PT 20 wk. Fee: Rs. 16,000), Certified Financial Planning (2-7 yrs). Rs. 48,000/-.

The Orion Institute of Capital Market, S-11 Adarshini Plaza, 91 Adchini, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi, offers three programmes designed for MBAs, CA/CS/CWA, investment advisers, fresh graduates. Courses: Diploma in Financial Systems & Investment Management (1yr); Certificate Programme in Stock Market Operations (6-mth, PT); Basic Equity & Investment Management (45 days, PT).

Bombay Commodity Exchange Ltd, Navi Mumbai offers a Certificate Course in Commodity Futures (3-mth) for screen-based trading.

Bombay Stock Exchange’s BSE Training Institute, Mumbai ( offers comprehensive training & certification programme for capital market professionals. It also offers online financial training across the country.

Delhi University, Punjab University and the University of Lucknow offer MFC (Masters in Finance & Control) at the PG level, and a Bachelor’s degree in Financial & Investment Analysis (in Sukhdev College of Business Studies). The BFIA programme is aimed at creating middle-management-level professionals for the stock market and includes intensive project work and on-the-job training.

Also reading professional books on the subject would improve your understanding and enhance your skills (If you would like a list, send me a stamped self-addressed envelope).

It would also help to work with a stockbroker to gain valuable hands-on experience.

— Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING

Please send in your query preferably on a postcard along with your name, complete address and academic qualifications to:

Editor, Query Hotline,
The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160020, or at



1. Name the world's only supersonic airliner that recently made its last commercial flight.

2. What amount was recently fixed by the Union Cabinet for candidates to be spent in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, respectively?

3. Who was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Vatican City recently?

4. Name the noted Malayalam film-maker who was recently conferred with French honour 'Commandeur Des Arts Et Lettres'.

5. How many Indian companies have made it to this year's Forbes magazine's list of 200 successful companies outside the USA?

6. Name the first Chinese to go in space.

7. Name the writer of the famous novel 'Pavitra Paapi'.

8. In which year was the Indus Water Treaty signed by India and Pakistan?

9. Name the author of the book ‘A Royal Duty’.

10. Who is the Prime Minister of Canada?

11. Expand CRISIL.

12. What is the capital of Sudan?

13. Who recently surpassed Sanath Jayasurya by becoming the highest run-scorer in day-and-night matches?

14. What is New Zealand's highest Test innings total against India?

15. Who recently became the second Indian to win the World Snooker Championship?


Winners of quiz 192 : The first prize by draw of lots goes to Tashi Negi, class X, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Navbahar, Shimla. Second: Harish Kumari, class XII-A, Govt Sr Sec School, Sec 27-D, Chandigarh.

Third: Siddarth Kanwar, IX-C, BBMB DAV Public School, Nangal City-140124.

Answers to quiz 192: Mathew Hayden; Shirin Ebadi; J.M. Coetze;Arnold Schwarzenegger; Chandigarh; Anupam Kher; Roger Moore; 83rd ; Gurinder Chaddha; 100; International Atomic Energy Agency; October 9; William Steig; Anil Kumble; Michael Schumacher.

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

— Tarun Sharma