Walmart to work with Andhra Pradesh govt on branding, marketing products: Naidu

Retail giant Walmart will work with Andhra Pradesh government in five areas, including branding and marketing of the state's products, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said here Tuesday.

Hyderabad: Retail giant Walmart will work with Andhra Pradesh government in five areas, including branding and marketing of the state's products, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said here Tuesday.

"Walmart is a global retail giant. An understanding has been reached on working together in five areas. Helping with technology under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), doing branding for 'Made in Andhra' products through retail stores and providing international market for more than 20 horticulture products like cashew, peanuts, rice, coconut...," he told reporters here.

Naidu was briefing reporters on his recent visit to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, where he met honchos of Walmart and other top private companies.

"They (Walmart) source products within the state. If need be, they would source the products from here (AP) and sell where they have marketing networks. They have accepted this (request). They will brand about 100 items made by self-help groups and promote them. They have also come forward to provide technical expertise to farmers," he said.

On his meeting with software major Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and other officials of the company, Naidu said he discussed an idea of AP government and Wipro setting up a Joint Venture to work in the area of e-governance. The proposed JV would also offer consultancy services to other governments in the country.

"Modalities are being worked out," he said.

Wipro has assured it will expand its facility for Santoor brand of soaps at Hindupur in Anantapur district, he said.

On his meeting with Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka and other top officials, Naidu said he has requested them to set up a centre either at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada or Tirupati.

Naidu said he has urged Pepsico head Indra Nooyi to tap the potential of coconut, mango and banana produce available on a large scale in AP for the MNC.

She assured to talk to the company's India head, he said adding Nooyi was expected to visit India in March.

Recalling his deliberations with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates during his previous stint as Chief Minister, Naidu said he has urged him to set up a centre in AP and also help in philanthropic activities.

Microsoft set up its shop outside the US for the first time in Hyderabad during Naidu's previous term.
Observing that several economies around the world like Europe, Japan and even China are showing signs of slowing down, he said India has a huge potential to march ahead.

"It's a very, very interesting time for India," he said.

Asked how much volume of business is expected due to outcome of his visit to Davos, Naidu said every visit cannot be measured immediately in quantitative terms and that various projects and overall development happen over a period of time.

He cited an example of the growth of IT in Hyderabad during his previous stint as CM.

Asked about the promises pending with Centre like special status to AP and others as mentioned in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, he said talks are on with the Centre on the issue.

Naidu said he has visited Delhi several times and also held talks with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the matter.

Acknowledging that AP government financial situation was challenging, Naidu said he has cut down on government expenditure to ensure there is no problem for necessary items like payment of salaries to staff.

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