FDI in retail: Investors in no hurry to rush into India


India’s recent push for big ticket reforms has cast a shadow on the ongoing World Retail Congress meeting in London. Foreign retailers seem to be cautious about the announcement on many counts.

Bijou Kurien, President and Chief Executive, Lifestyle, Reliance Retail Ltd, said, “The first is that they are all awaiting clarifications as far as the policy is concerned. The second is that they know that this is not a measure introduced without some amount of controversy. So they are waiting for the first person to go in and test the waters.”

Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress, said, “This move has been waited for so long. There is a large degree of realism…”

The debate in India is on letting international retailers in. But the debate abroad is whether they want to step in at this stage.

Arvind K Singhal, Chairman, Technopak, “It is a misnomer, a myth in political classes in particular that there are people waiting at the borders of India to come in.”

The bold move by the Indian government is apparently not bold enough for a lot of retailers. They are looking at the restrictions and the contentious political climate in India.

There is potential interest but the world of retail is not exactly waiting to rush into India.

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