Walmart to intensify sourcing from India, widen product basket

The Bentonville (Arkansas)-based company already has a major sourcing business in India, including goods worth USD 125 million a year from Punjab alone, comprising mainly of cotton.

"In next 12 months we could talk about exports (from India) worth tens of millions of dollars...maybe hundreds of millions in the next 4-5 years," Walmart Asia President and CEO Scott Price told reporters here.

He said Walmart's global sourcing division has been restructured and the retailer has decided to focus on India in a big way.

"I had a talk with its (sourcing) head and both of us agreed that India has an immense potential," he said, adding that the firm saw India as a mega hub for worldwide sourcing.
Indian products can be exported to other Asian countries, Europe and even the US, he added.

When asked about the products the company said it is keen to source from India, Price said the number of items could increase as the country has an immense variety to offer but a final decision has not been taken.

Walmart, which is present in India under a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in the wholesale cash-and-carry segment, also called for a relaxation in the country's retail FDI norms.

"The government is itself identifying areas where improvement is required. FDI in retail has to open further although it could be in stages," Price said, however, adding that the company is satisfied with its JV with Bharti.

Meanwhile, the JV -- Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd -- today opened its second Indian store here. The first outlet in Amritsar had been inaugurated in May last year.

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