Bharti, Wal-Mart form JV for retail chain


New Delhi : India’s Bharti Enterprises and US major Wal-Mart Stores Inc Monday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a 50:50 joint venture for a cash and carry and wholesale retail chain that would see its first unit by 2008 end.

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The new entity – to be called Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd – targets the opening of 10 to 15 such facilities over the next seven years and is expected to employ over 5,000 people.

“The Bharti Wal-Mart Private Ltd. joint venture would serve kirana stores, fruit and vegetable resellers, restaurants and other business owners,” Rajan Bharti Mittal, managing director, Bharti Enterprises told a press conference here Monday.

Refusing to give any financial details such as the amount of investment that has gone into the joint venture, Mittal said: “This is a scalable business and there has been a substantial amount of investment that has gone into this venture and it would grow as the business grows.”

“One of the key reasons for Wal-Mart’s international success is the fact that in every location we operate, we are local. We source local products from local suppliers that appeal to local tastes, needs and fashion,” added Raj Jain, country president for Wal-Mart’s India operations.

He said the US-based retail juggernaut had no immediate plans to come into India’s retail sector directly as it is prohibited by Indian law.