‘In India, we’ve to think local and execute locally’
- Walmart pulled out of its wholesale joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in 2013, before acquiring Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018 to set its sight on India’s rapidly growing e-commerce market.
India’s retail market offers unique and diverse opportunities to build a business and could breach the $1 trillion mark by 2025, said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer, Walmart Inc.
“It’s one of the most exciting markets around the world—one of the top three, along with the US and China. We are really excited and proud of the history that we’ve had in the country as we work to build a business. We think the future is very bright and are going to see a market (in India) north of a trillion US dollars by 2025,” McMillion said at the Converge@Walmart event on Wednesday.
Walmart pulled out of its wholesale joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in 2013, before acquiring Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018 to set its sight on India’s rapidly growing e-commerce market.
“India is such a diverse market and not one country in some ways. So, we have to think local and execute locally. It has its own rules and we have to comply with those rules. Today, we’re not allowed to make a foreign direct investment in a multi-brand retail store, the physical brick-and-mortar store. So, we operate in a different way[...] I do believe we will see generations skipping in India, which will be exciting,” he added.
Today, Walmart-owned Flipkart has more than 300,000 sellers on its platform, while PhonePe, its payments arm, caters to 300 million users.
“My key takeaway was this team (Flipkart and PhonePe) can problem-solve and overcome things. And no doubt in every market we operate in, especially India, we are going to have challenges. It’s a very dynamic environment—rules are changing, customers are changing, competition is changing. So, where you sit at this moment is only a partial picture of the business. The real question is, can you show up every day and have an engaged set of leaders that want to solve tomorrow’s problems,” McMillon said.
Last year, Walmart announced its plans to triple its exports from India to $10 billion annually by 2027. India continues to be the top sourcing market for the Bentonville-headquartered retail conglomerate, with annual exports of around $3 billion.
In July, Flipkart raised $3.6 billion led by parent Walmart Inc. and existing investor SoftBank Group Corp., at a valuation of $38 billion.