Retailing in India is one of the pillars of its economy and accounts for about 10 percent of its GDP. The Indian retail market is estimated to be US$ 600 billion and one of the top five retail markets in the world by economic value. India is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world, with 1.2 billion people. As of 2003, India’s retailing industry was essentially owner manned small shops. In 2010, larger format convenience stores and supermarkets accounted for about 4 percent of the industry, and these were present only in large urban centers. India’s retail and logistics industry employs about 40 million Indians which is about 3.3% of Indian population.
The story of the Retail Industry in Indian context has always been interesting to know about, following the reforms that have been incorporated over the years. Still a young economy, we need to think a lot on the initial policy introductions and one such story is FDI in Retail.
In November 2011, India’s central government announced retail reforms for both multi-brand stores and single-brand stores. These market reforms paved the way for retail innovation and competition with multi-brand retailers such as Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco, as well single brand majors such as IKEA, Nike, and Apple. In January 2012, India approved reforms for single-brand stores welcoming anyone in the world to innovate in Indian retail market with 100% ownership, but imposed the requirement that the single brand retailer source 30 percent of its goods from India. Indian government continues the hold on retail reforms for multi-brand stores. In June 2012, IKEA announced it had applied for permission to invest $1.9 billion in India and set up 25 retail stores. An analyst from Fitch Group stated that the 30 percent requirement was likely to significantly delay if not prevent most single brand majors from Europe, USA and Japan from opening stores and creating associated jobs in India. On 14 September 2012, the government of India announced the opening of FDI in multi-brand retail, subject to approvals by individual states. This decision was welcomed by economists and the markets, but caused protests and an upheaval in India’s central government’s political coalition structure. On 20 September 2012, the Government of India formally notified the FDI reforms for single and multi brand retail, thereby making it effective under Indian law.
On 7 December 2012, the Federal Government of India allowed 51% FDI in multi-brand retail in India. The government managed to get the approval of multi-brand retail in the parliament. This has led to growth in employment opportunities and increase in service providers, choices and chances to experience different qualities and types of products across the globe at complete ease.