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Nov 24, 2011, 11.02 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Don't expect investments to flow instantly: Bharti Walmart

Jain who started his journey with Walmart in India five years ago in a joint venture with Bharti feels that this move would have a deep and long lasting impact on Indian landscape and the way consumers shop.

Raj Jain, Chief Executive Officer,Managing Director, Bharti-Walmart

After a long wait, the government has finally allowed 51% foreign direct investment (FDI)  in the multi-brand retail. It has also decided to raise the cap on foreign investment in single-brand retailing to 100% from the current 51%.

"This is a bold and significant move," said Raj Jain, managing director and chief executive officer, Bharti Walmart.

Jain who started his journey with Walmart in India five years ago in a joint venture with Bharti feels that this move would have a deep and long lasting impact on the way consumers shop. "It will redefine the way supply chains in India run today," he said.

Despite this move being a game changer for the Indian retail industry, Jain feels that we should not expect flood of investment to come immediately.

"There should be substantial amounts of investment flowing over the next two to three years. Lot of the caveats which will be there and this announcement will have to be properly studied," he explained.

Below is the edited transcript of Jain's interview with CNBC-TV18.

Q: How much of a game changer is this going to be for the Indian retail landscape?

A: Its a very significant and a very bold move. I know it has taken a long time to take but it will have a very deep and long lasting impact on the Indian landscape. It will redefine the way consumers shop in India but more importantly the way the supply chains in India run today. It will help connect our farmers, small producers and large producers to the customer in a very efficient way. It will thereby bring down prices for Indian consumers.

Q: What is this now going to mean in terms of stepping up investments into India?

A: I think its a very positive move. It is a bold signal by our country to the foreign investors that we are ready. We are one of the fastest growing economies in the world and also in sectors which have been debated like retail for a long time foreign investments will now be welcomed.

A lot of big retailers and speciality retailers will now think about it. Therefore there should be substantial amounts of investment flowing over the next two to three years. Having said that I would just like to calibrate it by saying that we should not expect a flood of investment immediately.

Obviously there is a lot to learn about our country. Lot of the caveats which will be there and this announcement will have to be properly studied. But overall in the medium-term I am very bullish. It is a great move by the government to attract foreign investment when we needed most.

For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.

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