American Morning

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July 8th, 2009
07:04 AM ET

Wal-Mart making its debut in India

(Getty Images) Managing Director of India's Bharti Enterprises Rajan Bharti Mittal (L) shakes hands with President of US Wal-Mart's operations in India, Raj Jain during a press conference in New Delhi, 06 August 2007.
(Getty Images) Managing Director of India's Bharti Enterprises Rajan Bharti Mittal (L) shakes hands with President of US Wal-Mart's operations in India, Raj Jain during a press conference in New Delhi, 06 August 2007.

In the Holy City of the Golden Temple an American retail giant is hoping to strike gold.

Walmart has finally made its way to India, in a joint venture with one of the country's best-known companies: Bharti Enterprises. But not everyone can shop here. This is a wholesale store aptly named "Best Price Modern Wholesale."  Here only licensed business people, hotels or institutions are allowed in.

India's strict business rules forbid foreign companies from direct retail for fear multinational corporations will wipe out the little guy. For some businesses…it can mean visiting up to 25 different places everyday just to stock the shelves. The store also appeals to Sundar Singh, who owns a small store in a nearby village. He says, "I travel 40 kilometers, but I save a lot of money and get good quality of products. I visit this place four to five times a week."

But not everyone is excited about the new store in the Punjab's Amritsar. Small distributor Pawan Sharma is worried. He says his business has dropped by 15-percent in the month Wal-Mart has been open. But the Bharti-Walmart partnership says with more than one-billion people to serve, there's room for everyone to do good business here.

Bharti-Walmart is planning to open 15 stores across India within the next few years.


Filed under: American Morning
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Ms. Kaur

    This is my parents hometown, and do not think it is best for Walmart to set-up shop there. There is a reason why India has those strict rules to save the little guy. Walmart has a tendency to wipe out the little guy, especially when they start building more stores.

    July 8, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  2. E. Laurence

    I think Wal Mart should be banned from all new business. They do not support the countries they are distributing their products in by giving good jobs to people to manufacture the products. Their business practices are apalling and abusive.
    If Wal Mart continues to do business, their requirements should change to require 75% of the products sold be manufactured and obtained in the country they are in and the distribution of good jobs should focus on supporting the areas of distribution.
    I do not like Wal Mart and do not support them through purchases.

    July 8, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  3. William Morris

    Kiran Chetry,

    I think Wal-Mart will drive out the small business owner. History will repeat. Wal-Mart is a hungry machine and nothing will stop it. "Wal-Mart the Destoyer"....sounds like a monster movie.

    Sincerely,

    William Morris

    July 8, 2009 at 7:25 am |