Raj Jain, President of Walmart India, talks about the potential outcome if India opens retail to foreign businesses. Currently, foreign companies like Walmart are limited to wholesale joint ventures (i.e. must partner with another Indian company and can only sell to stores, not directly to consumers).
- Now 30-40% of food output does not make it to consumers. Jain thinks a good cold chain could cut that in half. He points out that the spoiled food is not necessarily wasted - it is used to feed animals.
- Consumers would gain from the convenience of one-stop shopping, transparent prices without bargaining, and frozen foods. Jain notes that China opened up retail 15 years ago but 75% of retail sales are still conducted at Mom and Pop shops. Walmart would not mean the end of local retail.
Economist (4-14): Retailing in India Send for the supermarketers