Optimistic About India Despite Changes In FDI Policy, Says Walmart
U.S. retail major Walmart, which invested $16 billion in Flipkart, said it is committed to the Indian market and is optimistic despite recent changes in the foreign direct investment policy for e-commerce firms in the country.
The Bentonville-based retail behemoth's statement came after a recent report by global consultancy firm Morgan Stanley, which had hinted that Walmart may quit Flipkart as the new FDI policy came into effect, which would lower its profitability in the long run.
Morgan Stanley, in a report titled “Assessing Flipkart Risk to Walmart EPS” dated Feb. 4, claimed that "an exit is likely, not completely out of the question, with the Indian e-commerce market becoming more complicated."
Walmart's and Flipkart's commitment to India is deep and long term. Despite the recent changes in regulations, we remain optimistic about the country, said Dirk Van den Berghe, executive vice president and regional chief executive officer Walmart Asia and Canada.
He further added, "We will continue to focus on serving customers, creating sustained economic growth and bringing sustainable benefits to the country, including employment generation, supporting small businesses and farmers, and growing Indian exports to Walmart's global markets."
Tightening norms for e-commerce firms having foreign investment, the government, from Feb. 1, barred online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon from selling products of companies where they hold stakes and banned exclusive marketing arrangements that could influence product price.
The revised policy on FDI in online retail, issued by the commerce and industry ministry, also said that these firms have to offer equal services or facilities to all its vendors without discrimination.
Walmart had completed acquisition of 77 percent stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion, a deal which gave the U.S. retailer access to the Indian e-commerce market.