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Global companies eye India's digital model

India is becoming a digital hub for several global consumer and retail companies including Levi Strauss, Decathlon, Procter & Gamble, Mondelez, and Unilever, which are increasingly taking technological capabilities and learnings from the country to other markets.

"We have India for India, and India for the world. In tech and digital, India is amazing. So, we are discussing how India can contribute to the world as well," said Barbara Martin Coppola, chief executive officer of Decathlon.

The French sporting goods retailer's entire leadership, along with its chief digital officer, visited the country recently to have discussions on "how India can contribute for the future including technology", he said.

For denim maker Levi's, apart from being one of the sourcing hubs, India also has a global capability centre in Bengaluru, an engineering hub to accelerate omni-channel capabilities globally. "We are building an engineering base as we grow both technology, our digital operations, artificial intelligence, and India is making a big difference," Harmit Singh, global chief financial and growth officer at Levi Strauss & Co, told ET.

Last year, Unilever had said India will be a beacon of digital innovation for the packaged consumer products firm globally.

While India has been a sourcing and talent hub for many companies, the country's adoption for ecommerce and innovation in manufacturing accelerated significantly during the pandemic. And global markets can replicate the process, especially as omnichannels gain importance to sell their products, executives said.

"The digital infrastructure we have been able to create in India is quite impressive and that's contributing to our ability to drive disproportionate growth, both from a sales capability standpoint and from a media capability standpoint," Andre Schulten, chief financial officer of Procter & Gamble Co, told investors recently.

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