UK-based Tesco PLC today became the first global retailer to seek the government's approval to set up multi-brand outlets in India with a plan to invest USD 110 million in partnership with the Tata group.
Tesco proposes to set up a 50-50 joint venture with its existing Indian partner Trent, a Tata group firm, to open retail stores in Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Kolhapur (Maharashtra).
"We welcome the decision of Tesco to invest in India. On our part, we assure them all support for expedited clearances. We hope that this will mark a new beginning in transforming India's retail industry. I am sure that the other global leaders will also look at investing in India," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters.
This is the first application in the multi-brand retail segment since the government allowed 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing in September last year.
Tesco has presence in India through a joint venture with the Tatas. These stores are located in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai.
Trent Limited Vice-Chairman Noel Tata said, "We believe that our understanding of the Indian market, coupled with Tesco's unparallelled global retail expertise, will allow us to leverage the tremendous potential of the market to the benefit of all stakeholders."