Not withstanding the noises being created by the Left, enty of the world’s biggest retailer Wal-Mart in India in 2007 is a certainity. By appointing Raj Jain as its president and CEO designate for operations in the country, Wal-Mart, made its intentions known even before inking the tie-up agreement with the telecom major Bharati Enterprises. The company has set up a project office in Delhi and is working on various roll out strategies, including the plans for ‘cash and carry’ wholesale for which it has already sought the permission from the government.
According to media reports, Jain, who was a Regional Director for marketing and product delivery with Whirlpool Asia, had worked for Hindustan Lever for 16 years. Jain, who is believed to be a specialist in logistics, will be reporting to Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart International. He will be responsible for recruiting and building the Wal-Mart team in India.
Taking into account policy constraints, while the front-end retail operations of the alliance in the country will be exclusively owned by Bharati, the ‘cash carry’ business to be modelled on the lines of Sam’s Clubs in the US and elsewhere will be shared between Bharati and Wal-Mart.
After selling its highly competitive business, comprising 16 stores in Korea, for $882 million to Shinsegae Co., in May, 2006, Wal-Mart is left with negligible presence in Asia. It has 391 stores operating in Japan and 66 stores operating in China. Wal-Mart besides India is also focussing on China, where it wants to expand many fold before the onset of 2008 olympics.