New Delhi, India As part of Wal-Mart Stores’ push to expand foreign investment in retail in India, CEO Mike Duke spoke Tuesday to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi. He told conference attendees that organized retail in India will create 3 million jobs in five years.
Duke also said that foreign investment in retail will help curb inflation.
Wal-Mart, which currently operates four wholesale cash-and-carry stores there through a partnership with Indian conglomerate Bharti, will be able to help lower inflation, reduce waste and increase food safety and efficiency in the country’s supply chain once India opens its retail market, Duke said.
Wal-Mart, relying on getting more than 90% of its products from local sources in India, also will be able to help their Indian suppliers and manufacturers expand overseas, he said.
Wal-Mart launched its partnership with Bharti three years ago, through which the company sells to registered small-business owners in the cash-and-carry shops. India law still restricts foreign companies from investing in multi-brand retail operations selling directly to consumers.
Duke, who said he’s “very pleased” with the company’s joint venture with Bharti, said Wal-Mart plans to open a fifth cash-and-carry store in the next 45 days with plans to add another 10 to 15 within the next two years.
As part of his case for Wal-Mart’s contribution in India, Duke said Wal-Mart is also helping to educate the country’s work force with plans to open a third skills training center in Bangalore in the next two months with Indian partner Bharti. The other two centers have already been opened with Punjab and Delhi government.