NEW DELHI: Reliance Retail has initiated a furious expansion drive with special emphasis on the wholesale cash-and-carry segment to take the battle to multinationals such as Walmart and Carrefour that have to build up their retail presence from scratch.
“Reliance Retail plans to take the battle straight to multinational chains operating in the wholesale cash-and-carry segment and choke them in that area with all its might,” a person who is aware of the company’s plans said.
The government last week issued some clarifications on the multi-brand retail FDI policy including foreign retailers’ inability to acquire existing retail businesses and to make upfront and fresh investment of at least $50 million in back-end infrastructure, which will keep global supermarket titans from going the whole hog in India at least in the immediate future and restrict them to the cash-and-carry business where they are already present.
“Reliance is not keen to allow any foreign company to take the pole position even in the wholesale business that generates mega bucks for the same effort. So, the wholesale business is now top priority,” the person said.
A senior executive of a foreign cash-and-carry company said, “The hearsay is they (Reliance) want to become the number one player in wholesale by the end of the year.”