Bharti Retail to increase staff strength to 60,000

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Bharti Retail to increase staff strength to 60,000
Bangalore: Bharti Retail, a subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises, will increase its head count to 60,000 by 2015 from the current 2,000 as it has set a target to become a billion dollar company by then. Making a case for allowing FDI in multi-brand retailing, Bharti Enterprises Vice-Chairman, Rajan Mittal said that the move will help in creating millions of jobs and will open up bigger export opportunities, helping India close the gap with China in global trade.

"We employ about 2,000 people. We are going to employ 60,000 people by 2015," said Mittal. "I am saying that if the sector opens up, it will have two million people employed. The government should recognize that." He said about 25 percent people working at Bharti's 'easyday' stores were matriculate who would find jobs only at places like retail stores. Besides, about 22 percent of the people employed by the sector are retired and housewives, who work on flexi timings.

Mittal said all these people were acquiring new skills through training. "We are training them and we have set skill academies in Ludhiana and Amritsar to train them." On the level of FDI that should be allowed, Mittal said, "That's for the government to decide but I would say, to begin with, 49 percent."

Mittal said that by opening up the retail sector, "You get technology, you get sourcing, not to forget the reverse also. China gives (exports worth) $25 billion a year just to one company, which is Wal-Mart. From India, they pick up $600 million. Look at the gap."

He said companies like Wal-Mart have said they would like to keep India as their second base and create business worth $10 billion out of here. "If you really see tea, fruits, vegetables, rice, brassware, handlooms, handicrafts, jewellery, I think we have enough to supply," Mittal added.

He also said once India opens up the front-end, it would be able to move private labels in a big way. "People who manufacture for FMCG companies will do same for easyday stores tomorrow. So I think, they (the policy makers) are not looking at the larger picture. They only see one small constituent."

Bharti Retail has around 30 stores, mainly in Punjab and Haryana and will open 40 more in the National Capital Region by end December. It has tied-up with the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart for the wholesale (cash-and-carry) business, where 100 percent FDI is allowed. The government also allows 51 percent FDI in single-brand retailing but none in multi-brand stores.

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