Vol. 5 Num 1141 Tue. August 14, 2007  

Wal-Mart to help Indian retailers

Retail giant Wal-Mart, which has joined hands with Bharti Group for back-end business, is in talks with 'big' organised retailers in India for providing technical expertise in front-end operations and is expected to announce a deal by next year.

"Few players have approached us for technical expertise. We are in talks with some big players in Indian retail space for it," Wal-Mart country president India Raj Jain said.

Asked to specify, he refused to name the other parties which are in talks with it but said, "These are existing retailers with a few crore (rupees) of turnover and 50 to 100 stores." Jain said a deal on providing technical expertise for front-end operations with one of them could be announced next year, when the first wholesale store of Bharti-Wal-Mart opens.

On the possibility of extending its expertise to the Future Group or Reliance Retail, he said, "I don't know what kind of expertise they would require." As per Wal-Mart's agreement with Bharti Group, besides the joint venture operations, it will also extend technical expertise for various process and systems to Bharti Retail.

Jain said providing technical expertise to Bharti Retail was not exclusive and the joint venture can provide its services to other retailers.

"There is a market for consultancy. We are open to providing it to other retailer, even to local kiranas," he said, adding many companies entering the retail segment were facing problems in the supply chain.