Sunday, October 14, 2007

India's Retail Sector is Booooming...?

Retail in India has gained a surprising importance in past year as we see many corporate gaints investing in billions into this sector. India has topped the AT Kearney’s annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) for the third consecutive year, maintaining its position as the most attractive market for retail investment. The Indian retail market -- one of India's fastest growing industries -- is expected to grow from US$ 350 billion to US$ 427 billion by 2010. According to Euromonitor International, the Indian Retail market will grow in value terms by a total of 39.6 per cent between 2006 and 2011, averaging growth of almost 7 per cent a year.

The food Retail and Mobile Retail is growing at a high pace. Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Mumbai-based petroleum gaint Reliance Industries, has opened around 100 fruit and vegetable stores under "Reliance Fresh" brand in less than a year, already invested around Rs:2500 crore (US$ 0.637 billion!) and plans to invest about Rs:90,000 crore ($22.99 billion!) in setting up retails stores in various formats- hyper markets-supermarkets, speciality stores, discount stores...etc. Also Bharti Wal-Mart is setting up itself to enter into this sector soon. So look out for more billion dollar investments in these sector in comming year 2008.

Reading all this how's you feeling? Mind blowing reports with huge numbers about India's Retail sector, feeling great? Read next.....

Very few people think of the other part. The government decision on January 24 allows up to 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in “single brand” retail stores. Nike, Nokia or Levi can establish stores, but multi-brand retailers such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour are excluded, for now. Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told the leaders of the world’s richest corporations that India was seeking to increase its FDI to $US10 billion by 2006-2007, up from the $6.5 billion invested in 2005.Retail activities such as door-to-door selling, street carts and market stalls, act as a last resort for the unemployed, given the lack of jobs in manufacturing and agriculture. Many in the retail trade are living below the poverty line. A report published in December 2004 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPAS) entitled “FDI in India’s Retail Sector: More Bad than Good” stated that retailing is “probably the primary form of disguised unemployment/underemployment in the country”.The report continued: “Given the already over-crowded agricultural sector, and the stagnating manufacturing sector, and the hard nature and relatively low wages of jobs in both, many million Indians are virtually forced into the services sector. Here, given the lack of opportunities, it is almost a natural decision for an individual to set up a small shop or store, depending on his or her means or capital. And thus a retailer is born, seemingly out of circumstance rather than choice.” The report is spelndid, you can view it here :-

Although the Indian government hails foreign investment as an economic boon, the growth has largely benefitted the wealthy to the detriment of large sections of workers, small business and farmers. The opening up of the Indian economy and deregulation has resulted in substantial public sector job cuts, the destruction of industries, land seizures and cuts to food and fuel subsidies. There are approximately 40 million people and 11 million outlets in India’s retail sector. Many of these are marginal businesses—small shops and stalls, street vendors and hawkers—which will be destroyed by competition from large retail outlets and chains. Many people, who have no alternate source of income or work, will be left completely destitute.

(I have written this article with lot of research. I want to know your comments over this.Thank you.)


George said...

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