With India allowing 100 per cent FDI in processed food retailing, US retail giant Walmart on Wednesday said it will evaluate opportunities in the segment while it gears up for the next phase of opening up of new cash and carry stores in the last quarter of next year.
“FDI in food processing is a very progressive step… I think bringing more retailers into food retail will eventually benefit the farmers and will eventually benefit consumers,”
Walmart India President & CEO Krish Iyer said in Delhi at the its Entrepreneurship Development Program.
When asked if Walmart is interested in the segment, he said: “As far as we are concerned we are waiting for policy guidelines to be announced, we will study policy guidelines and take decisions appropriately.”
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“We will evaluate,” Iyer said when asked if Walmart would avail of opportunities in India’s food and processing sector.
Commenting on the idea of opening pure food and grocery supermarkets, he said: “Many retailers have food and grocery formats around the world. It will be an interesting development. We will have to wait for the policy.”
The company which operates 21 cash and carry stores under the brand ‘Best Price’in nine Indian states, plans to open 50 more stores by year 2020.
“Opening 50 stores by 2020 is on track.. It takes a minimum of 30 months to open a store..depending on how fast you get approval, whether construction is on time. Pipeline building process is on,” he said.
When asked about the timing of new stores openings, he said: “New stores will come up in fourth quarter of next year. We will also enter into two more states Haryana and Karnataka.”
The company had opened its newest store in August last year in Agra.
Walmart India Wednesday launched the ‘Entrepreneurship Development Program’ for Women-Owned Businesses (WOBs) by introducing the 32 selected participants of the program at an event, which was attended by female entrepreneurs, retail industry experts, NGOs, government officials and media.
The programme aims to enhance the participants’ skills, capability and sustainability.
The programme was announced in January 2016 inviting applications from WOBs in different categories located in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi NCR, Telangana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.