The world’s largest retailer is looking at developing India as a major export hub
The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, today said that its sourcing from India could increase to ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars within the next four-five years, making the country an export hub for its global operations, reports PTI.
The Bentonville (Arkansas)-based company already has a major sourcing business in India, including goods worth $125 million a year from Punjab alone, comprising mainly of cotton.
“In (the) next 12 months we could talk about exports (from India) worth tens of millions of dollars, maybe hundreds of millions (of dollars) in the next four-five years,” Walmart Asia president and CEO Scott Price told reporters.
He said that Walmart’s global sourcing division has been restructured and the retailer has decided to focus on India in a big way.
“I had a talk with (the sourcing) head and both of us agreed that India has an immense potential,” he said, adding that the firm saw India as a “mega-hub” for worldwide sourcing.
Indian products can be exported to other Asian countries, Europe and even the US, he added.
When asked about the products the company said it is keen to source from India, Mr Price said the number of items could increase as the country has an “immense variety” to offer but a final decision had not been taken.
Walmart, which is present in India under a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in the wholesale cash-and-carry segment, also called for a relaxation in the country’s retail foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.
“The government is itself identifying areas where improvement is required. FDI in retail has to open (up) further although it could be in stages,” Mr Price said, adding that the company is satisfied with its JV with Bharti.
Meanwhile, the JV—Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd—today opened its second Indian store. The first outlet in Amritsar had been inaugurated in May last year.