1 Minute View: The concern of overseas retailers is real

12 Jul,2013

Politicians have their problems with the entry of global retail giants to India as even a trade-friendly Narendra Modi has shown his opposition to their entry.


Given the opposition of all of the non-UPA run states in the country, it is natural that the transnational international retailers are wary of making significant investments into the country. So fickle are our values that if if the NDA comes to power in the next general elections, the BJP could well turn pro-retail FDI and the Congress-led UPA may adopt an anti stance!


But opposing big international retail formats is as foolhardy as, say, insisting that the news media cannot have majority investment from foreign players.


Small traders have traditionally been active donors of the election campaigns so there is reason why some parties are batting against FDI in retail. The fear is misplaced as even now small retailers aren’t driven out of business by the big bazaars, though their profits may have shrunk.


Big retailers will never be able to offer the personalized service that neighbourhood stores can. We’ve already seen in cities like Mumbai how many malls have failed. In fact a few have even converted themselves to office complexes.


While homegrown retail biggies will offer most of the benefits that the international majors can bring in, the presence of the big ‘uns will ensure that the bar is raised in terms of standards.


Needless to say the entering the global biggies will not only see more dollars getting into the country but also help energise the advertising and marketing sectors.


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