Feature | Retail sector excited to welcome foreigners in Indian Bazaar!

Amidst numerous speculations and controversies, the government issued a proposal for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail segment of the country. The Indian retail industry comprises primarily of shopkeepers with 15 million plus retailers and a size of 400 plus billion US Dollars. It is dominated by the unorganised sector contributing to 94 percent of the sales. Set in this structure, in the last decade, many new formats have been launched in India and global 'biggies' are already in India.

The cabinet decision allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail and 100% FDI in single-brand retail has been under the scanner with the opposition displaying rare unity against the decision. There was speculation whether government would at least put on hold the FDI decision in the interest of functioning of Parliament. But yet, the next couple of days still keep the curiosity quotient high, leaving things unclear in this direction.

Thus, we at Adgully took it to our task to bring together an array of viewpoints from the industry expertise on the issue.

Govind Shrikhande, Customer Care Associate & Managing Director- Shoppers Stop, is confident that the new FDI policy will surely bring forth benefits to customers, economy and infrastructure in the country. The positive feedback and experience in telecom, automobile and insurance sectors, clearly showcases the success of the FDI policy. He opines, "If rolled out in phases and with proper checks and balances ' the policy will directly impact both multi-brand outlets and small retailers with a balanced approach as customers will get large assortment of great quality of goods and merchandise at reasonable prices and this will enable the up gradation of post-harvest, cold chain infrastructure, bringing in technology and management know-how, removing 'structural inefficiencies in the supply chain' and will benefit consumers in terms of cost and quality." Adding further, he said, "The large investments in infrastructure would lead to rise in farm productivity, manufacturing, food processing and cold storage, thereby leading to cutting down of wastage, growth in employment, exports and GDP. With the right controls in place our exports can double in three years time, leading to a significant jump in employment and GDP. The introduction of technology and good management practice will improve product availability and customer satisfaction.

To sum it up while FDI has brought cheer amongst a certain section it also has created a stir amongst another set.Lots of airtime and ink has gone in , the new FDI policy and its implementation is a 'wait and watch' situation.

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