Hyderabad

Walmart all set for take off

Rajneesh Kumar, vice-president and head (corporate affairs), Walmart India, during a conversation with The Hindu , in Hyderabad.— Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Rajneesh Kumar, vice-president and head (corporate affairs), Walmart India, during a conversation with The Hindu , in Hyderabad.— Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Nearly four years since it opened its first shop in Hyderabad, then part of a joint venture, Walmart is all set to expand its presence in the capital and rest of Telangana with up to 15 stores in the coming months, including four more here.

These will be 100 per cent Walmart-owned stores and the first coming up after Walmart broke off with its Indian partner Bharti. Typically, each of them will have about 50,000 sq.ft space, offering a variety of over 5,000 goods and products with 50 per cent of them of the food variety. A ‘Best Price’ store sells a wide range of fresh, frozen and chilled food, fruits and vegetables, dry groceries, personal and home care, clothing, office supplies and other general merchandise items. And, interestingly, it is tying up with the local kirana store owners, helping them digitise their operations and lending a helping hand to do up the shops.

“It’s a strategy. Besides, we also encourage women entrepreneurs in the Shop Development Programme to help them set up “Mom & Pop stores”, says Rajneesh Kumar, vice-president & head – corporate affairs, Walmart India, on a recent visit. Each store is expected to generate up to 2,000 direct/indirect jobs, while insisting on 20 per cent employment to women. With the government allowing only business-to-business transactions, entrance to a Walmart store is by being a registered member like kirana store owners, hotels, institutions, caterers and offices. “We are firming up sites to locate our shops having the right catchment area. Our aim is to have 50 more stores across the country by 2020,” says Mr. Kumar.

“Once the site is firmed up, we make it a state-of-art-building – ergonomics of design, green concepts et al,” he says. Walmart India sources “96 per cent products locally” and keeps in mind the local requirements. “We buy for less, operate for less saving costs and our efficiencies help us in giving the right price to members,” he explains. And though the global firm is gung ho on the Indian economy and insists that ease of business has improved, it still needs over 40 permissions before setting up shop.

Corrections and Clarifications:

An earlier version of this article read: "Our aim is to have 50 more stores in TS, AP and Karnataka by 2020". It is 50 stores by 2020 across the country and not just in TS, AP & Karnataka.


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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 3:30:03 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/walmart-all-set-for-take-off/article8425195.ece