Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Grocers still face many hoops to jump through

Ankur Bisen, the vice president of retail for Technopak, talks about the hurdles facing retailers from abroad over setting up in India.

Ankur Bisen, the vice president of retail for Technopak, a consultancy, talks about the hurdles facing retailers from abroad over setting up in India.

Why does foreign direct investment (FDI) into retail seem to be facing challenges?

Retail is a complex subject for the simple reason that it involves multiple stakeholders. If you look into reforms in India in any other sector, they were pretty straightforward. Retail involves stakeholders all the way from farmers and wholesalers, retailers and then, of course, the final consumer. These functions are extremely fragmented in India.

So how long will it be before it really takes off?

Some people are saying in any case nothing is going to happen until the 2014 elections now and they think it's wait-and-watch for the next one and half years and after that let's see which government gets installed and what is the appetite of that government to continue with the reforms.

But maybe retailers could benefit from moving quickly on the opportunity.

The other argument is that waiting will take away the precious time of entering the market and learning about the market, so the view is that whatever half-door opportunity is given, retailers should just enter and make their presence felt and when the time is right then you actually scale up. A typical example is McDonald's. When McDonald's entered India about a decade ago, there were all sorts of apprehension about food, about farmers. But McDonald's entered and got farmers and consumers on board and it has got such strong traction that politically it has become irrelevant to oppose McDonald's because farmers are happy and consumers are happy.

There's still a lot of opposition to FDI into multi-brand retail. Is there any chance the decision could be overturned?

There's no reference point where a policy decision has been rolled back by one government over a decision that was taken by a previous government.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014 will run until April 24, 2014. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National.

In pictures: Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014 opens
at Adnec

Key developments and master plans are being unveiled at this year’s property exhibition in the capital.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Designed by London-based Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick studio, the park will feature an outdoor cinema, an organic garden, picnic areas and cafes and restaurants. Photo courtesy Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation

Futuristic Abu Dhabi park to be built in the desert shade

Spread over 125,000 square metres, Al Fayah Park, on Airport Road, will be covered by a sand-coloured canopy, 20 metres high, with the appearance of cracked desert land from above.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National