Walmart cuts a third of India execs, plans more
Published on: Tuesday, January 14, 2020
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HONG KONG: Walmart Inc is preparing to wind up its physical presence in India and has fired a third of its top executives there, said a local media report.

The world’s largest retailer plans to halt new-store expansion in India and will continue to cut staff, said the Economic Times, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The executives already sacked include vice-presidents across sourcing, agri-business and fast-moving consumer goods, and the real estate team responsible for finding new store locations has been disbanded, said the report.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company sees no future in its physical operations in the country and is likely to sell it or merge it with Flipkart, the e-commerce platform it bought for US$16 billion in 2018, the report said.

The brick-and-mortar exit comes after a decade of struggle in India, whose government has repeatedly stymied global consumer brands in order to protect local store-owners.

Rules designed to shield the 12 million local mom-and-pop stores – known as kiranas – from foreign competition has hamstrung Walmart and others, like Amazon Inc.

Political pressure is now growing for stricter regulation of foreign e-commerce platforms as well.

Walmart said as recently as April last year that it wanted to expand its wholesale business, which supplies the mom-and-pop stores with goods and double the number of wholesale outlets in the next four years. – Bloomberg



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