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Flipkart-Walmart potential deal underpins gap in India's retail market

Amazon isn't only looking to combat Amazon in the e-commerce space with this deal, but also wants to make inroads into India's underpenetrated offline retail market

BS Reporter  |  Bengaluru 

Walmart to expand operations in UP

As the deal which could see US investing as much as $10 billion for a majority stake in Indian major nears fruition, all eyes are focused on how executes its in the country.

Considered to be a major proponent of the deal, is looking at as a partner not just to combat rival in the space, but also as a way for it to make inroads into India’s underpenetrated offline retail market.

Sources privy to information of the deal confirm that Walmart is pushing to acquire 51 per cent stake in over a period of time. The deal will provide exits to several of the company’s early investors such as Accel Partners, Tiger Global, and

“It’s going to be great for guys like and This is what they’ve been waiting for as they’ve been investing for years now and must show returns to their LPs. From Walmart’s perspective, Flipkart is the ideal candidate because it sits between and Alibaba,” said Manish Maheshwari, former head of Flipkart’s marketplace business.

Other experts also say that with such a large commitment in India, the US giant isn’t going to merely focus on winning the five percent of India’s overall retail market that currently makes up. There’s still a lot of headroom for large format offline retail to grow in India over the next 20-30 years and is squarely something that Walmart is targeting.

This would mean Flipkart won’t be going up against just or Paytm anymore, but also behemoths such as Reliance, Tata, Future Group and among others. For Flipkart, the deal could fundamentally restructure the company from being an to being a retailer that sells both online and offline.

“It makes sense for Walmart to take majority stake in Flipkart because they’re looking at them as a partner to get access to India’s retail market, not just the Walmart already has some of the best practices when it comes to sourcing and picking right store locations, etc, and their entry into Indian retail will be huge,” says Harminder Sahni, founder and MD at

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 14:24 IST