Wal-Mart to source IT expertise from India

February 20th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc Wednesday said it will continue to source technological expertise from India by working with the country’s leading tech firms. “Today IT is truly a global business and as we deepen our relationship with India, it only made sense that we take advantage of the 24-hour development cycle that India offers,” Michael T. Duke, vice-chairman, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, said in a statement.

Last year Wal-Mart has entered into a joint venture with India’s Bharti Enterprises for wholesale cash and carry operations, a segment where India allows 100 percent foreign direct investment.

“As our remote sourcing model continues to evolve, we are pleased with the expertise of our business partners here and expect India to clearly be a key strategic partner in this area given its impressive IT capability,” said Rollin Ford, Wal-Mart’s executive vice-president and chief information officer.

Both Duke and Ford are currently visiting India “to get a first hand understanding on the progress of Wal-Mart’s joint venture with Bharti Enterprises for a cash-and-carry venture that will serve retailers, manufacturers and farmers.”

“Our goal is to work with India’s existing supply chain infrastructure and improve efficiency to minimise wastage and maximise value for farmers and manufacturers as well as retailers. We can help cut the waste, not the middlemen who can play a very important part in the entire supply chain,” Duke said.

The joint venture is expected to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities and employ approximately 5,000 people over the next seven years, it said.

A typical facility will be between 50,000 and 100,000 sq ft and sell a range of produce, groceries and staples, footwear, clothing and consumer durables to retailers, it said.

French retailer and a rival of Wal-Mart, Carrefour, also announced its plans to enter India through the cash-and-carry format soon.

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