RACING AHEAD

Two American retailers are giving some of India’s largest legacy businesses a run for their money

Ruling the retail.
Ruling the retail.
Image: REUTERS/ Abhishek N. Chinnappa
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Two American firms are ruling the Indian retail industry.

In 2020, Amazon and Walmart together clocked higher sales in India than eight of the top domestic retailers combined, according to data from London-based market research firm Euromonitor International.

Besides Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, which has increased its focus on retail in recent years, the two American giants topped some of the oldest retail firms in India, including Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, Avenue Supermarts (which operates the popular D-Mart chain), Tata Group, and Aditya Birla Group.

While Amazon has invested billions into its India subsidiary since it was launched in 2013, Walmart’s India sales are mostly driven by e-commerce firm Flipkart, which it had acquired in 2018 for $16 billion, making it the world’s largest e-commerce acquisition at the time.

Amazon and Walmart have been increasing their footprint in India over the last decade. In fact, Amazon is currently in the middle of a battle with Reliance Group over the latter’s acquisition of Future Group.

The retail industry in India is projected to touch $1.3 trillion (Rs94.7 lakh crore) by 2024, as against $883 billion in 2020, as per Forrester Research. Besides, the retail sector accounts for over 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and around 8% of total employment.