Don’t run from big retail chains, face them, Narendra Modi tells traders

Modi surprised small traders with his inaugural speech at the Traders National Convention.

New Delhi | Updated: February 28, 2014 7:37 am
The Gujarat chief minister’s comment is the first clear statement in favour of big retail and e-commerce from the party that has publicly opposed foreign direct investment, especially in multi-brand retail. AP The Gujarat chief minister’s comment is the first clear statement in favour of big retail from the party that has publicly opposed foreign direct investment. (AP photo)

The BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Thursday told small traders they have to accept the presence of large retail chains instead of “running away” from the challenges posed by them.

The Gujarat chief minister’s comment is the first clear statement in favour of big retail and e-commerce from the party that has publicly opposed foreign direct investment, especially in multi-brand retail.

“There is no need to fear global challenges, try to convert the situation into an opportunity. Make the most of this situation. We are a powerful nation and have taken a lead in information technology. This is the age of online marketing, accept modern science and make use of it,” Modi said.

Modi surprised small traders with his inaugural speech at the Traders National Convention as they have expressed fears of being swamped by organised retail and had expected Modi to highlight those concerns.

While Modi made no direct mention of FDI in any of his three speeches in Delhi Thursday, he said his party supports the roll-out of a national Goods and Services tax, a major demand from industry for the next Central government.

Instead, he said small traders must learn to build brands and go online, creating virtual malls to take on large and multinational retailers. “Customers from even small towns are now going for branded stuff. They are going to malls to buy them. Small traders can build a virtual mall by getting into agreements with brands. You can have a virtual mall in small shops at the click of a button,” he said.

Just weeks ago, Rajasthan’s BJP government became the second state after Delhi to roll back the permission given to foreign direct investment of up to 50 per cent in multi-brand retail. Other BJP ruled states have not permitted such FDI and analysts said Modi’s views could force a rethink.

Global retailers such as Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour who had shown interest in India have since gone slow on their plans while even single-brand retailers such as Ikea have decided to pause despite getting all clearances.

Modi’s statements were lapped by big retailers.

“This looks like a strategic direction which is being set ahead of the elections and it’s a very welcome one. These comments and clarity will help everyone in the industry and foreign players to take decisions,” Kishore Biyani, CEO of Future Group, told The Indian Express.

Modi used the three different platforms to give some indicators of the economic policies the BJP could follow if elected to power.

“In the last 10 years we have lost out…We talk about fiscal deficit but we have governance deficit, deficit of vibrancy in democratic institutions, ease of doing business deficit, security deficit,” he said at the India Economic Convention.

“We need to restore the faith of common people. We don’t have direction, dedication and determination. Bad governance is like diabetes. More than policies we need governance…What we need is a complete overhaul of the departmental system. Laws should be made simple,” he said.

Economic decisions, Modi said, should not be taken under the influence of politics. “If the purpose for which the government has been constituted isn’t served, there is no point in running the government,” he said.
Modi said GST introduction was delayed as the Centre had not been able to prepare for it and had not listened sympathetically to the states.

“I have met the finance minister and told him if the IT backbone is not created GST cannot come through,” Modi said, without specifying why Gujarat has been opposing the Bill despite the Centre’s compensation offer.

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  1. B
    Feb 28, 2014 at 5:27 am
    Well! Mr. Modi's recommendation to the Indian traders to embrace modern science and technology is indeed a need of the hour.How are retailers in India planning to fight the Big giants like Walmart and many more who are ready to enter the Indian retail scenario at any time. Online selling can be a boon for Indian traders if they take the intention in a positive way! The main intention of online platforms is to make a seller space where sellers can directly reach their existing and potential customers. Along with Big Traders, small traders can equally partite and market their products globally through the online platforms which are attracting more and more customers due to heavy discounts, secure payment, fast delivery and the option for cash on delivery. The products showcased in platforms like shoppemall are genuine and such platforms offers traders a means to showcase their products and market their goods while reaching customers in the cities as well as in the rural areas. Indeed, traders should utilize this opportunity to grow and capture global market by accepting the advent in technology by expanding their business without any infrastructural cost. Indian Traders can use these platforms can grow their business and also help customers find products overcoming all regional barriers
    1. Satish Chandra
      Feb 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm
      The deaths of Rajiv and Indira did not matter, only the crimes against Satish Chandra matter. Both partited in the CIA’s crimes against me and both were killed by CIA-RAW because of my influence on them. I was the target in killing them; they themselves did not matter. Nehru was a lifelong British agent, Indira and Rajiv worked for the CIA and so do all Indian politicians. To avoid being killed by CIA-RAW, Rajiv’s son now (on Feb 26 ‘14) made an incredibly stupid and treasonous statement “What superpower? I will rather make a woman safe in a bus” to show to CIA-RAW that he is NOT under my influence and will not entertain any thought of making India a superpower and will keep India poor, weak and enslaved. Narendra Modi should be whipped and hanged for giving a bouquet of roses to an American diplomat in exchange for a strip search and cavity search of an Indian diplomat. After my reference to Advani as Home Minister being forced, with the threat of being prosecuted for Babri Masjid demolition, to visit CIA headquarters and make the Home Ministry partite in the CIA’s crimes against me, CIA-RAW threatened Modi with prosecution for the killing of Muslims in 2002 and so today (Feb 27 ‘14) “Modi signals shift in favour of big retail”, that is Walmart, etc., reversing the BJP’s stand -- while acknowledging this will harm him politically -- and urging Indians to embrace foreign ownership and control of India and other BJP politicians have joined in this treasonous deal with CIA-RAW as Jaitley‘s statement today (Feb 27 ‘14) that Modi “ has been able to overcome a sustained campaign against him over the 2002 Gujarat riots“ shows; CIA-RAW dictates -- with the threat of killing in the case of Rajiv’s son and threat of prosecution in the case of Modi -- what Indian politicians do and say, not India’s or the politicians’ own interests. P. Chidambaram should be whipped and hanged for speaking positively about Harvard University where the world’s greatest scientist and greatest Indian of all time was publicly tortured for being an Indian. The Italian woman and son should be whipped and hanged for partiting in crimes against him with the help of the CIA’s 24-hour satellite surveillance of him for the past 37 years. Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee should be whipped and hanged for ociating with CIA-RAW agent Hazare, a follower of M. K. hi who was a lifelong British agent and a homoual who wrote to his white master “How completely you have taken possession of my body; it is slavery with a vengeance”. You do not shake hands with any representative of a country whose potion will be made to eat one another till no one remains alive. Filthy s Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram and Raghuram Rajan made India a beggar and slave at the G-20 urging “advanced nations, like the US, to take heed of countries vulnerable to the stimulus withdrawal” and “advanced nations must recognise the impact of their monetary policy decisions on other economies and "be prepared to act if things get out of kilter" “. Why? Because “The reduction in stimulus, known as tapering, may affect capital flows to emerging markets and impact their currencies”. Why do you want to give ownership and control of India to foreign enemies when India has all the investment capital it wants by simply printing the money which is what the U.S. is doing stealing my proposal about money -- see ‘How India’s Economy Can Grow 30% Per Year or More’ : HowIndiasEconomyCanGrowDOTblogspotDOTcom ? These filthy s Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan must also be whipped and hanged along with filthy s Amartya Sen, Subramanian Swamy -- who were both brought to Harvard and one of them given a Nobel prize expressly to provide cover for the crimes against me -- and anyone else in public life you can think of. It is not too late to whip and hang filthy s Vajpayee and George Fernandes both of whom have been faking illness and an inability to speak to avoid answering questions about their partition in the CIA’s crimes against me. Nor is it too late to whip and hang filthy Ram Jethmalani, who was also brought to Harvard to provide cover for crimes against me and rewarded with a half a million dollar per year law practice and filthy L. K Advani who, while Home Minister, was brought, under pain of being prosecuted for the Babri Masjid demolition, to C.I.A. Headquarters to make India’s Home Ministry a partint in the C.I.A.’s crimes against me. Filthy Kejriwal wants to provide a few services at lower rates but my proposal about money shows how to provide all goods and services free of charge to everyone. Filthy M. Karunanidhi should be whipped and hanged; he was having Indian currency printed in China with the help of the Reserve Bank of India chief to provide some freebies to the people of Tamil Nadu as I described in my press releases but kept the crimes against me covered up otherwise everything could be provided free of charge to everyone in India. Filthy Jayalalitha should be whipped and hanged for saying she has a vision for India but keeping quiet about the crimes against me because of which India will remain poor, weak and enslaved despite her vision. IndiasLegitimateRulerSatishChandraDOTblogspotDOTcom