Arpita Katyal is a young entrepreneur who is taking her family legacy forward by making handbags of international quality, but with ‘made in India’ fashion labels. As the CEO of Roperro, she is catering to the styling needs of young adults through bags, apparel and accessories while specializing in leather creations. Her labels evoke luxury and contemporary world fashion. She is a work-in-progress golfer and is presently training to study human behavior and psychology.
In a conversation with Women Entrepreneur India, Arpita shares her views on female participation in industries. During the conversation she also discussed about the women retailers and the future of retail industry.
Technology Reinforcing Female Participation
Technology is and will be a major driver of gender equality in the coming years. The ever-shifting technological evolution is one of the core factors that is aiding to bridge the gender gap and has unbarred a plethora of opportunities for women workforce by expanding the scope of flexible work environments. Today, technology become a doorway for women to access education, find jobs, and start businesses while breaking down traditional gender roles and societal expectations. By providing equal access to education, healthcare, and opportunities to pursue economic and financial independence, technological advancements have empowered women to break down the glass ceiling impeding their progress and has converted them into full-fledged economic contributors. Though women taking charge to support their families as well as the economy is not at all a new concept. Their potential was not fully acknowledged until the advent of technology and digitalization. This digital shift provided new routes for the economic empowerment of women, thereby people began to see women as critical human resources across all industries.
New-age Retail & Women Contributors
With new-age, digital first businesses bursting into the retail space, it has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries and witnessing an ever-changing landscape filled with advancement. Though the outbreak of COVID has widely altered the buying attitude of consumers as no difference is considered while buying goods online and offline, global retail leaders are leveraging cutting-edge business strategies to take the possible advantages out of this new consumer preference. Today, many industry leaders are engaged in experimenting with their business models to spearhead their business andwomen too aresignificant contributor to this agile workforceby improving customer valueand embracing latest innovations to transform the retail sector. Unlike any other industry, retail have promoted the active participation of women and provided them opportunities to be significant contributors of economic empowerment and career advancement. Women too willingly join this sector to break the age-old tradition of running homes and killing their inner capabilities.This is why, in retail women have always had not only a fair but dominating share at handling managerial and management roles.
In the retail sector, women have become more influential both as consumers and business owners while integrating innovation and development in the industry.As per a recent report published by digital solutions provider Instamojo, over 56 percent of the total sales clocked by direct-to-consumer businesses in 2022 were owned by women, which indicates that the D2C industry is emerging as the next growth engine for women.As there is a continuous shift of brands to online marketplaces, women now have an equal and realistic chance to make their mark in the D2C space, with digitalisation as an enabler.
Why Women Retailors?
Women are blessed with certain traits that are tailor-made to suit the needs of this industry and making them perfect retailers. They are gifted with undeniable qualities such as pleasant, patient, empathetic, stable, effective communicator including others. The vitality of the term communication in retail can never be overemphasized. It is like a founding pillar over which the success rests. Being an effective communicator, they helps improve customer satisfaction, retention, lifetime value, and loyalty, which makes them more suitable for specific retail roles. And, the most commendable quality a woman has is the ability to connect and develop a community, through understanding, attracting, engaging and retaining customers, which are crucial for not only retail but for every business.
With the rising entrepreneurship spirit merging with feminism, the world is witnessing unimaginable today. In this challenging and highly competitive world women are constantly breaking down societal barriers by succeeding and excelling in almost every industry and retail is no exception. With caliber to transform the workplace with apt opportunity they are reaching the pinnacle. Therefore, retailers need to focus more on hiring and retaining women employees understanding their significance in business and benefits so that both retailer and the fair participation has more to cheer about.