Retail Industry in India

The retail industry in India is emerging to attract new investments in the retail sector in the country.

Bharti Retail Ltd operates about 80 stores and owns a chain of grocery outlets and easyday market hypermarkets to cater to the retail market in India . Owned by billionaire Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Group, the company plans to open 140 retail stores in India in 2010, said Raj Jain, managing director of the group’s venture with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

He added that Wal-Mart can open a large number of retail stores in India if the government allows foreign direct investment in the South Asian country’s retail industry.

The company awaits policy changes in the retail market in India. The Bharti-Walmart JV runs the BestPrice Modern Wholesale stores to cater to the retail sector in North India. This is a 50:50 cash and carry joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and WalMart. The company will require additional manpower as it plans to open more cash-and-carry stores in the retail sector in the country. At present, it has two stores in India (in Punjab) and employs 450 workers.

The government has been in talks to open the multi-brand retail sector for FDI. At present, up to 51 per cent foreign investment is allowed in single brand retail and 100 per cent FDI in wholesale, but none in multi-brand.

The company has recently launched the second Bharti-Walmart Training Centre in New Delhi by entering into a public-private partnership with the Delhi Government. The centre would enroll up to 2,000 students a year to impart free of cost training in sectors, such as retail, BPOs and hospitality. The centre was inaugurated by Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi and would work to fill up the shortage in skilled workers for organised retail and cash-and-carry stores.

At a recent function, the Daniele Smadja, Head of the Delegation of the EU to India, said “We would like India to further open its economy to EU investments.

Furthermore, Nokia India is focussing on the retail distribution model. It is for the first time the world’s largest mobile phone company has initiated a retail distribution model for its services venture.

In yet, another format of the retail market in India, the major retail players proved to be a boon to the small food processing vendors as they helped the latter put in a system which in turn attracted FMCG companies to hire the same vendors on account of quality.

Similarly the retail market in India is foraying into various sectors. Retail in healthcare sector is witnessing an immense interest from private equity investors. The upturn in the retail industry in India is attracting PE investors, gearing them to maximise their profits with the highest deal volumes being in various sectors including retail. According to V Jayasankar, Head, Private Equity, Kotak Investment Banking, “There is high level of interest in the retail sector as it directly feeds on consumption.

Additionally, the airport retail market in India is witnessing a renaissance with the fast pace of development in the expanding airport facilities in the country and the increasing number of passengers. With people on a constant move the target audience is easily available and the round the clock mode of retail sector available on airport gives that strategic advantage to the retail players.

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