Walmart to make India major sourcing market

Walmart to make India major sourcing market

Chandigarh: Walmart, the world’s largest retail player, on Tuesday said it will increase sourcing from India for its global operations and expects the country to become one of its major suppliers within 4-5 years.

“We see India as a mega place for our worldwide sourcing. Indian products can be exported to other Asian countries, Europe and even the US," Walmart Asia president and CEO Scott Price told reporters here.

The Bentonville (Arkansas)-based company already sources goods worth $125 million a year from Punjab alone, mainly cotton.

Price said the aim is now to increase the figure manifold.

“In the next 12 months we could talk about exports worth tens of millions of dollars... maybe hundreds of millions in the next 4-5 years. Our global sourcing organ has been restructered and I had a talk with its head and both of us agreed that India has an immense potential," he said.

Asked about the products the company is keen to source from India, Price said the country has an immense number of items to offer and a final decision has not been taken.

Walmart, which is currently present in India under a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in the wholesale cash-and-carry segment, also called for a relaxation of the country’s retail FDI norms.

“The government is itself identifying areas where improvement is required. FDI in retail has to be opened further, although it could be in stages," Price said, however, adding that the company is satisfied with its JV with Bharti.

Meanwhile, the JV — Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd — on Tuesday opened its second Indian store here. The first outlet in Amritsar was inaugurated in May last year.