Amid the political battles being fought over FDI in multi-brand retail, Walmart is gearing up to enter the Indian market and is seeking the appropriate approvals from the necessary authorities.
“I expect that Walmart will also make the kiranas grow and I see decades of co-existence between the two parties,” Walmart Asia CEO Scott Price said in an interview with CNBC-TV 18, adding that all the fears of Walmart destroying the small traders and kirana stores was misplaced.
Both are very different in their format and their reach among the consumers, he added.
On the issue of Walmart’s existing business relationship with Bharti, Scott said, “We are very pleased with the relationship we have with Bharti through the joint venture Bharti-Walmart.” Price was however not concerned that Walmart had been allowed to open stores in only nine states.
In an interview given to The Economic Times, he allayed fears that Walmart would be booed out of states if governments who might be favourable to FDI were to be voted out of power. “Our business plan is not based on politics,” he said.
In the same interview he also debunked BJP leader LK Advani’s comment that New York City had not allowed Walmart to operate there.
According to him, Walmart was very much present in New York City, and he said that the city administration was helping them set up businesses in new places that would be ideal for their low-cost business models.