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Single-brand retail reforms to raise domestic mobile handset retailing to global standards: ICEA

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The relaxation in FDI norms for single-brand retail trade is expected to raise the domestic mobile handset retailing market to global standards as it paves the way for brands like Apple, OnePlus and Oppo to set up their directly owned stores in the country, industry body ICEA said on Wednesday.
In a fresh round of FDI reforms, the government on Wednesday eased sourcing norms for single-brand retail trade (SBRT) and allowed companies to start online sales before setting up their brick-and-mortar stores, subject to the condition that the outlets are opened within two years from the start of online retailing.
"SBRT reforms will have a long-lasting impact in boosting market hygiene, enhancing customer satisfaction and most importantly raising mobile handset retail to international standards. Iconic stores of global standards have a symbolic value for the nation too," said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).
The industry body said the reforms will now pave the way for establishment of stores by global brands such as Apple, OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo.
E-mail queries sent to these companies did not elicit any immediate response.
All these firms currently sell in the Indian market through franchise-owned retail stores, apart from the e-commerce route.
"At the same ICEA reiterates that we do not support FDI in multi-brand retail trading because of India's socio-economic structure. However, SBRT is greatly welcomed. SBRT reforms as announced by the Government will usher in significant growth of handset demand and better customer experience amongst other important reasons," Mohindroo said.
The mobile handset industry in India, specially the smartphone segment, is expected to witness a surge in turnover during the next 4-5 years with the domestic market demand expected to soar from the current USD 25 billion to USD 80 billion by 2025, as per the National Policy on Electronics (NPE), 2019, ICEA said.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 9:10 PM IST

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