Mumbai: Small shopkeepers should become a part of the retail industry, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Subodh Kant Sahai, said on 5 September.
“We should evolve some mechanism by which you can involve small shopkeepers in your supply chain because we have to create jobs,” the minister said at the India Retail Forum.
The mechanism should be such that the small shopkeepers become a part of the retail industry and it should also provide economic opportunities to farmers, he said.
Referring to the opposition to organised retailing in the country, the Minister said it is an issue “even in the US; Wal-Mart was not allowed to open an outlet in Manhattan.”
In India, farmers will be benefited by entry of organised sector in retail industry. Indian agriculture is fragmented and is not viable. You have to create demand and adopt cluster approach to make it profitable, he said.
“Certain politicians are opposing organised retail for political reasons but effectively they are harming the farmers,” he added.
He said the government will be offering Rs 50 crore grant to create food parks in the country.
He also indicated setting up of Food Authority of India, but did not elaborate.
In his address, IRF chairman and Executive Director of ICICI Bank, V Vaidyanathan, said, “India is getting modern and needs modern methods for retailing. Organised retail is the need of the hour.”
The size of the retail industry in India is estimated at Rs 12 lakh crore and is expected to triple in the near future, Vaidyanathan said.
Food and grocery continues to be the largest contributor to the organised retail, followed by apparels, textiles, accessories and footwear, he added.
The growth in retail would create 3.5 million jobs and it was imperative to support the retail momentum. Strong supply chain management is the need of the hour, he said.
Bharti Retail President Vinod Sawhny said, “India will be the fifth largest consumer market by 2025 and retail will create a sustainable growth in the economy,” he said.
With organised retailing, inflation will be curbed as prices would be more competitive, he said.
Speaking on the deal with the biggest retail chain in the world, Wal-Mart, he said by 2008 Bharti stores would be operational.
“We will have three different formats -- neighbourhood, hypermarkets and super markets,” he said.
Mahindra and Mahindra Executive Director Arun Nanda said, “The small kirana store owners won’t disappear, instead they would become more efficient when organised retail comes to India. The boom would be to manage the transportation facilities, which still need to gear up to support the poised retail growth in India.”