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Bharti to put $ 2.5 bn in retail by 2015

Bharti Group, which has joined hands with Wal-Mart for a foray into retail, plans stores across major Indian cities.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 14:05 IST

Bharti Group, which has joined hands with industry leader Wal-Mart for a foray into retail,on Mondaysaid it would invest 2.5 billion dollars by 2015 and open stores across all major cities in the country.

"After revolutionising the Indian telecom sector, retail will be the next big focus area for Bharti... The investment would be 2-2.5 billion dollars," Bharti Enterprises joint managing director Rajan Bharti Mittalsaid inNew Delhi.

"Organised retail, which currently accounts for only three per cent of the total market, has tremendous potential in the fast growing Indian economy," he said.

The size of the Indian retail market is estimated to be $ 300 billion, but is dominated by unorganised neighbourhood stores numbering over 13 million.

Mittal said the company would open multi-format retail outlets in all cities with a population of about one million. "We are looking at 10 million sq ft of retail space," he said.

While Bharti would manage the front-end of the retail business, US giant Wal-Mart would be involved in the back-end, including logistics, supply chain and cash-and-carry.

The joint venture would employ 60,000 people over the next few years, he said.

First Published: Feb 19, 2007 14:05 IST