‘PROCUREMENT AS A CAREER’
“Procurement is an act of finding, acquiring, buying goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process”. In layman’s language, procurement is nothing but efficient purchasing of only what you need. Procurement is similar to the process that we follow while shopping online, which starts right from recognising the need of product to purchasing of product influenced by factors such as stock availability, price, supplier evaluation and performance but in a more detailed manner. Procurement may look like a small part of SCM, yet is of great significance as it appears at every stage.
Procurement as a career invites professionals who are looking for exposure; unlike many career paths, procurement provides an opportunity to interact with business leaders at an initial stage which indeed helps in personal and professional development. Apart from this, procurement professionals get to interact with people from different geographies and functionalities. This network gives them an insight into the large commercial world and also exposes them to other functions like marketing, IT, HR, leadership etc.
Procurement has different functionalities embedded in it such as information technology, strategic sourcing, contract management, master data management, negotiations etc. Facilitating access to IT requires an understanding of the technologies themselves. To be apt and efficient in usage of effective IT products and services including interoperability, usage of collaborative software etc. A procurement professional is mandated to have knowledge of IT; this gives a call to professionals from IT as well.
Strategic Procurement is a continuous process of improving and re-evaluating the purchasing activities of an organisation. Strategic procurement or strategic sourcing involves market analyses which require professionals with analytical skills.
Shared services has been a point of attraction for procurement managers in India as it has been a global sourcing destination since 1985, as the widest range of services (like IT, BPO, KPO, R&D, Engineering services) is provided by India. Indian IT service sector alone enables employment to around 1 crore. employees (IBEF, 2017), captive services include more than 8 lakh employees (Economic Times, 2017).The majority of captives in India are headquartered at North America. This is a phase of evolution for Indian captive sector which will require high skills and calibre from this generation.
The scope for supply chain management including procurement seems to grow with the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST); as Indian exports in international market will be given a boost. Under GST regime, exports will be zero-rated entirely unlike the present system where refund of some taxes may not take place due to fragmented nature of indirect taxes between the Centre and the States. In addition to that, exporters with clean track record will be rewarded by getting immediate refund of 90% of their claims arising on account of exports, within seven days. This will definitely give a raise to Indian exports leading to an opening of international opportunities for professionals interested in supply chain management and procurement in India.
Indian job market shows an ascending demand for procurement managers which provides opportunity to have a promising career in this stream. Average compensation of a procurement manager is estimated to be INR 925,000 in general (Glassdoor, 2017). While in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai the average compensation for the same role resides between INR 900,000 to INR 1100,000. An indelible fact is that prior experiences in contract negotiation skills have high impact on the compensation for the post.
There is no wrong in stating procurement as one of the finest professions that delivers amusing opportunities to take your career to great heights along with personal development, provided you have the right set of skills.
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