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Eyeing India as a long-term growth market, US-based retail giant Walmart says it is currently focussing on expanding its wholesale retail business in the country and would wait for further clarity on rules for entering the multi-brand retail business.
"We are excited about India and we continue to be so. We see the potential of the country and we have a long term view. At the moment we are focussed on cash and carry business under our Best Price brand," Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in an interview here.
"We will continue to serve the shopkeepers, kiranas and farmers using that format and grow our that business in India," said McMillon, who is here to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting.
When asked about registering a new company in India earlier this month, he said that Walmart is positioning itself for the future, but the focus for the moment remains on Best Price cash and carry format.
The retailer has registered a new company called 'Wal-Mart India Private Ltd' in the country.
Asked about possible timeline for multi-brand entry, McMillon said it is not possible as of now to predict any timeline as it would depend on the decision taken by the "people of India and the government of India with regard to the regulations for foreign direct investment."
"We will respectfully wait, answer all questions and try to demonstrate that having Walmart in India is a good thing for the country," he said.
After parting ways with Bharti group in October last year, Walmart had said it was studying the feasibility of India's foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in multi-brand retail before finalising plans to enter the segment.
To a question whether Walmart was in a wait-and-watch mode because of upcoming general elections, he evaded a direct reply and said, "We continue to monitor the situation every day. We have a team in India and they are monitoring the things."
"It is my desire to be in India and it is also the company's desire to serve customers and we have a long term view on India," he said.
"Every stakeholder has responded very well to this format and we hope that as time goes on, the retail regulations are completed in such a way and the foreign investment rules are decided in such as way that we can help serve people of India even further and move into multi brand retail as well," he