India’s retail sector is vital for the economy and employment generation and it is time to elevate the position of the sector to an “industry”, says Walmart India President CEO, Krish Iyer.
“If retail is granted the industry status in India, it would become more viable for businesses,” Iyer said hoping that the Indian government would take note.
Iyer was speaking at the CII Retail Conclave held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on Wednesday.
He applauded the government for the measures taken in the last four years, which he emphasised has made it a “pleasure building back the business” in the country. Iyer added that through structural reforms like GST, IBC and public spending on infrastructure had made India an attractive destination.
“With the implementation of GST, India has become a borderless nation” said Iyer. He emphasised that implementation of GST by the government has “made it easy for a major player like Walmart.”
Walmart asserted Iyer, is keen to work with the country’s small businesses as well as farmers.
Talking about the company’s plans for modern food retail, Iyer said, “Modern food retail is less than 2% in India. There is great potential to increase the production as well as income of Indian farmers.”
Iyer, however, highlighted that the biggest challenge for a large format store in India is real estate. “Real estate is a challenge. It’s extremely fragmented and it takes three to four years in India to open a large store and one-third of the time is spent in conversion of the land to final industrial use,” added Iyer.
Regarding the potential the sector holds, Iyer says India needs to create a million job every month for the next 10 years to ensure that all of its young members are fully employed and retail has the ability to create that job growth.
Source: Economic times, May 16, 2018