Walmart evaluating FDI guidelines on food retail in India: CEO
Walmart India is "evaluating" foreign direct investment (FDI) guidelines for the food retail space in India as the government has permitted 100 percent FDI in the sector.
New Delhi: Walmart India is "evaluating" foreign direct investment (FDI) guidelines for the food retail space in India as the government has permitted 100 percent FDI in the sector.
Walmart India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US retail giant Walmart Stores.
Walmart India President and CEO Krish Iyer said the government's decision to permit 100 percent FDI in food retail is a good step and it would also help reduce wastage.
"I think this 100 percent FDI in food retail is an extremely good step and it's a very noble objective in terms of being able to double farmers' income and reduce food wastage," Iyer said at a select media briefing here.
When asked whether the company is planning to enter the sector, he said: "We have been evaluating the guidelines and at an appropriate time, we will look at that sector".
Walmart India operates in the wholesale segment, at present, and has 21 cash and carry stores across nine states.
It plans to increase the number of stores to 50 stores by 2021.
"We are building a pipeline of stores and we already have about 16 stores in the pipeline," Iyer said, adding they are at various stages of implementation in terms of licensing and construction.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of the Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development (WEDP) programme, under which it trains women entrepreneurs in professional and soft skills to help build robust business.
With a view to benefit farmers and reduce wastage of fruit and vegetables, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2016-17 allowed 100 percent foreign direct investment through FIPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India.
With regard to its Best Price wholesale stores, Iyer said: "Our major focus has been in the states where we are already present and therefore new stores will also be in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra".
On being asked about foray into new states, he said India as a whole is an attractive market but it is important to keep focus wherever we are present because creating a deeper presence and deeper penetration makes a better business sense.