India has its own rules, we must comply with them: Walmart CEO McMillon
India is a diverse country and Walmart has to think and execute locally and comply with its rules, said Doug McMillon, chief executive officer and president of the world’s largest retailer.
“It has its own rules. So we've got to comply with those rules,” said McMillon during a fireside chat with Prof Murali Mantrala of The University of Kansas School of Business at Converge @ Walmart, the flagship event of Walmart Global Tech India. “Today we're not allowed to make foreign direct investment in a multi-brand retail store, the physical brick and mortar store. So we operate in a different way.”
But in the end, he said the company has to solve the food business in that kind of business model. It also has to solve other categories so it would be able to serve people in the way that they want to be served.
He said the Indian market is very unique and is one of the most exciting around the world. It is among the top three along with the US and China. The Bentonville-based company (in Arkansas) is locked in a battle with US rival Jeff Bezos-founded Amazon, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance’s JioMart, and Tata-owned BigBasket for dominance in India’s online retail market through Flipkart, which it bought for $16 billion in 2018. Digital payments giant PhonePe also came to Walmart as part of the acquisition. India’s retail market is estimated to reach over $1 trillion by 2025.
“We're really proud of the history that we've had in the country as we work to build a business there,” said McMillon. “We think the future is very bright, and we are going to see a market that's north of a trillion US dollars by 2025.”
McMillon said he is excited about the leadership teams at Flipkart and PhonePe and the associates in India and the businesses that are being built. He said the Flipkart business has now reached over 300,000 marketplace sellers and PhonePe business has more than 300 million users. “Both are growing very well,” said McMillon. “It’s been really fun to see how our team there solve problems because you have to be so creative, open, and fast and that inspires us around the world.”
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