The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is one of the largest employers in India. FMCG are goods used by us on day to day basis and are sold in mass – i.e. it forms a huge section of the retail market and is an industry that has emerged to be a much sought after one by job seekers.
Those who are aspiring to apply for any specific job in FMCG or are merely contemplating a career change to this fast-paced sector, it is important to understand if it will be their cup of tea. Not everyone will do good in the FMCG space, however, if the right fit for the job, one can find that this industry as one where he/she can go a long way based on sheer talent.
Here are some key skills needed to get ahead in the FMCG sector –
An innate sense of persuasion
Though it is true that FMCG roles require outstanding selling skills, it is actually a little more complex. In FMCG you are not always selling the product itself – as the customer is already interested in the goods offered by you. Contrarily, the industry depends on persuasion; i.e. you constantly need to try to persuade the consumer that your products are better than those of your competitors.
This is true for almost all job roles in the FMCG sector including those who are negotiating rates from a supplier, selling to a retailer or creating packaging in the marketing department. The primary skill will always be the ability to persuade and influence a decision. And remember it is not about glib talk. All you need to focus on is making the customers or clients understand that what you are saying is the best option for them.
Skills across disciplines
FMCG industry and businesses seek people who can see the bigger picture of the sector while doing their job. Those specializing in buying and selling can boost their employability by gaining a broader understanding of the other aspects of FMCG, such as trade marketing, market research, and product innovation, even though they are not directly relevant to them. This understanding will make a difference to professionals in this space and is considered critical. And one may see that the job role that he/she is given has elements of other disciplines.
The skills gap in the FMCG sector about deriving insights from data is a continuous challenge. This doesn’t mean that everyone looking for a job in FMCG has to be a data analyst. The sector does hire data analysts for core jobs. However, the FMCG employers will prioritize a candidate with data analysis skills for any job role – be it, a marketing manager, who has a good grounding in insights or a sales manager will analytical skills.
Managers and people in senior positions are the ones who frame business plans and strategies. They need to have an analytical and insightful take on the business for commercial success as well as to take the company to its next level. Managers who are not able to understand the insights of the marketplace will eventually find themselves struggling.
Working under pressure
Those who are not comfortable to work under pressure will find jobs in the FMCG sector demanding. The very nature of the industry demands that things move very fast and employees are required to make instant decisions, deliver great service and think clearly in a fast-paced environment. In reality, this means that one needs to have a wide range of capabilities including flexibility and organizational skills.
A sector that moves as fast as FMCG makes it a prerequisite that the employees must have great time management and organizational skills as without such abilities they will lag behind and start getting stressed about the work at hand. This will affect their career growth.
The FMCG industry constantly needs project and technology skills to implement the projects. The plants are now getting automated, hence there’s a need for skilled professionals with education background and the technology prowess to switch a company from more manual to more automated one. Those who will have the abilities to do that will be in absolute demand. Hence it is time for getting up-skilled to remain relevant.