World's largest retailer Wal-Mart, which on Monday entered into a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises for wholesale business, said it would like to enter front-end retailing if India's policy allowed.
"Absolutely, if retailing (in multi-brands by foreign companies) is ever permitted in India, we would like to come to the front-end," Wal-Mart Country President (India) Raj Jain told reporters when asked if the firm would consider setting up front-end shops if government policy allowed.
India is the second country after Brazil where Wal-Mart has a cash and carry business. In Brazil, it runs the 'Maxxi' wholesale stores, besides its normal format outlets like the Supercentres.
Currently, India allows 51 per cent FDI in single brand retail business. Foreign firms are prohibited in multi-brand formats, although they are allowed to hold 100 per cent equity in wholesale cash and carry business.
Bharti Enterprise managing director Rajan Bharti Mittal said his firm would be a natural partner for the US retailer if in future the government policy were to allow foreign companies in front-end retailing.
"As and when that happens, we will be the partner of choice for Wal-Mart," Mittal said.
Jain also said Wal Mart had chosen to enter into JV with the Sunil Mittal-promoted firm for wholesale cash and carry business as "it has the local expertise".