Wal-Mart looks to 2016 for Indian expansion

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 98 views 

Wal-Mart is treading ever-so-slowly toward its expansion into India despite the loosening of government restrictions to allow foreign ownership.

Two sources in Bentonville expect it will be early 2015 before Wal-Mart applies for its first retail store license within India, according to Reuters.

Once government approval is obtained Wal-Mart said it would need another 12 to 18 months to get a store up and running.

Wal-Mart joined forces with Bharti Enterprises in 2007 and began establishing wholesale cash-and-carry stores and back-end supply chain management operations in line with Government of India guidelines. 

The retailer remains cautious from an ongoing internal bribery probe relating to its Indian business unit in addition to evolving ownership rules and the national elections in 2014, which could hinder retail expansion.

Two weeks ago, Wal-Mart announced Raj Jain had left the company. Jain had led Wal-Mart’s Indian operations for six years.  

Ramnik Narsey, senior vice president for Walmart International, will serve as interim leader for India. He joined Wal-Mart in May, after serving as CEO and chairman for Woolworths India.