New Delhi: British retailer Tesco Plc. has been assured support in negotiating local investment regulations if it decides to set up stores in India, after the company sought clarifications on the new policy.
Commerce minister Anand Sharma, who met a number of global business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, offered Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent all help if the retailer decided to send a team to the department for industrial policy and promotion for consultation, Sharma said. He told Broadbent that “all the foreign investors will be provided hand-holding,” according to Sharma.
Broadbent had, at the meeting on Wednesday, sought clarifications on India’s new foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for the retail sector.
Indian opened the market to foreign multi-brand retailers in September, allowing them to invest up to 51% in retail operations in the country. Conditions on sourcing as well as opposition from political parties, though, have kept foreign investors wary.
India on Monday allowed Swedish furniture maker Ikea’s proposal to set up stores in the country without changing its global business model, ahead of the Davos meeting and finance minister P. Chidambaram’s overseas roadshows.
That effectively sorted out Ikea’s concerns over sourcing norms and permission for its in-store cafes that are famous for the meatballs on the menu.
Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer by revenue (after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour SA), does not have retail operations in India but is present through its global services arm Tesco Hindustan Service Centre (HSC) that provides services for its operations globally.