Is India Ready For the Retail Revolution?

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 27 September 2012, 11:53 Hrs   |    7 Comments
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Bangalore: With a population of about a billion people and a mushrooming middle class, India holds out bounty promises for the global and homegrown retailing giants. According to McKinsey report, India’s $250 billion retail business is the eighth largest in the world and has the potential to grow by 7 percent. Therefore it is a ‘don’t miss opportunity’ for world’s market dominating company like Wal-Mart.

Several decisions are being taken in order to focus on reforms to enhance business transactions. Modernization of activities like supply chain and retailing is soon to be a reality. Wal-Mart is said to have keenly fought for India’s retail pie on an all time high with the announcement of the first store in Mumbai in collaboration with the Bharti Group. According to Bharti-Walmart, the launch will happen in phases over time. The Bharti Group is likely to invest $2.5 billion by 2015 in the retail sector while entering into a 50/50 joint venture with Wal-Mart for the cash and carry business in view of the FDI restrictions in the retail sector.

Wal-Mart is a symbol of corporate monopoly and of consumerism, so its fortune in India is not just an economic or business issue. It has been shaped into extensively debated politicized issue with bearings on the government’s stand on foreign direct investment (FDI), monopoly in business, labor relations, and so on.

Last year, the country witnessed a wave of protests against the entry of big business houses in retail in general and in the food and grocery trade in particular. After closure orders against individual stores served in Uttar Pradesh, opposition has surfaced with new force.

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