Walmart Asia eyes India as a major export destination to source its retail stores for its global operations. Talking to Business Standard, Walmart Asia President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Price said India contributed about $125 million worth of exports for the retail stores of Walmart located across the world. He said the company plans to push it to $1 billion in a few years.
He added that garments constituted a major chunk of exports from India. With a growing number of educated workforce, India can become a hub for high-end sophisticated electronic goods and household goods for Walmart.
He added that investment is being done in the infrastructural development of the country that would facilitate fresh investment by the foreign players to make India a manufacturing hub like China.
Talking about their synergy with Bharti Enterprises for Bharti Walmart Private Ltd, he said an investment of about $6-7 million was proposed for this project in the next three to four years, whereby 10 to 15 new ‘Best Price Modern Wholesale Stores’ would be set up across India.
He added that India had several advantages over other countries due to its large territory and young population.
Scott said the ‘Direct Farm Project’ initiated at Haider Nagar near Malerkotla in Punjab, where 110 farmers have been connected with Bharti Walmart for sourcing fresh vegetables, would be emulated in other parts of India.
“We plan to reach out to 400 farmers shortly in Haider Nagar, where we assure a buyback without any written contract and pay a five to seven per cent premium over market price to the good quality produce.”
Scott said his aim was to replicate their success story of China, where they connected to 22,000 farmers to source fresh vegetables to their stores.
He added that cold chains and a good road network was essential to ensure minimum wastage and pass on the benefit to the farmers in the form of premium over market price.
Scott Price was in Chandigarh to inaugurate the second cash and carry store of Bharti Walmart in Zirakpur on NH 22, 10 km before Chandigarh.
This is the second store set up by Bharti Walmart, the first being set up at Amritsar in Punjab.