Thiruvananthapuram: The consumer cooperatives' federation in the state is all set to
launch an institute for retail management. Kerala has so far said
a firm 'no' to foreign direct investment in retail, and now hopes
to train retailers.
The Kerala State Cooperatives Consumers' Federation (Consumerfed),
the apex body of the consumer cooperatives in the state, runs
3,000 retail outlets. The institute it plans to set up, the
Triveni Institute of Retail Management (TIRMA), will come up in
"TIRMA will run a six-month certificate course and a one-year
diploma course with 60 students each. We may later start MBA
courses in retail management," Joy Thomas, president of
Consumerfed, said Sunday in an interaction with the media.
Students passing out from TIRMA are likely to be offered jobs as
supervisors and floor managers at Consumerfed's retail outlets.
Consumerfed is also looking forward to set up a pharmacy college,
as there appears to be a shortage of qualified pharmacists.
"We are setting up a college that would churn out chemists on a
regular basis," said Riji G. Nair, Consumerfed managing director.
As for training druggists, a Triveni Institute of Pharmacy will
start functioning in Thrissur district from the next academic
"To begin with, each batch will have 60 students doing D.Pharm. We
will subsequently start four-year B.Pharm courses as well," Nair
said, recalling that the state government had earmarked Rs.50 lakh
for the academy.
The institute will give placement to all pass-outs, with a
reasonably good salary, he added.
Consumerfed, which started the no-loss-no-profit Neethi Medical
Stores in 1998 by selling medicines at discounted prices of 13
percent to 40 percent of the maximum retail price (MRP), currently
has 100 outlets functioning directly under it, besides 600 in the
"We are aiming to double the number of our stores to 200 by the
end of the ongoing financial year. The target is to raise the
overall number to 2,500 by 2017," added Nair, noting that the
federation had succeeded in overcoming oligopolistic tactics in
the field. Oligopoly is a sellers' market condition, in which any
one of them can affect prices and competition.
A third college to provide vocational courses would be the Triveni
Institute of Food Processing (TIFPRO), which will emphasise on
adding value to commodities like coconut, mango and jackfruit,
thus boosting their sales.
TIFPRO, which is set to open at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur
district, with aid from the central government, will next year
start a six-month diploma course.
It will focus on providing self-employment where marketing of
products like jam and pickle can be promoted through a well-knit
chain involving self-help groups of women, the Consumerfed, the
managing director said.
All the three proposed institutes will have permanent teaching
faculty, besides experts giving guest lectures.