India retail

All eyes are on China’s Alibaba, the e-commerce behemoth, and its planned US listing – not least from neighbouring India.

Senior management at Snapdeal, the online marketplace backed by eBay, are watching the initial public offering (IPO) closely as they mull a similar listing themselves. Co-founder, Kunal Bahl, told beyondbrics that the company could launch an IPO in 18 to 24 months’ time. Continue reading »

The young assistants in the tiny store by the FT Mumbai bureau are exemplary shopkeepers. They have everything for those who ask – including imported chocolate for the homesick – even if it’s hidden in some dusty corner. They’ll deliver the odd item to your door and allow you to pay later if you don’t have cash. Sometimes they offer you the latest cricket score at no extra cost.

The great Indian bazaar has come under threat from organised retail and online shopping in recent years. But how might Narendra Modi, India’s new pro-business prime minister, shake up the retail industry while trying to spur manufacturing, consumer spending and overall economic expansion? Continue reading »

Ritu Kumar is the Vera Wang of Indian bridal wear, one of the oldest and most coveted designers for Indian women on their big day. She’s also a big name for formal women’s fashion and even western clothing in India. Her stores are fondly known as “Ritu’s”.

The Everstone Group, the India and South East Asia focused private equity investor that recently invested in Burger King here, has now put Rs1bn ($16.7m) into buying an equity stake in the brand, part of a wider trend in investor interest in India’s luxury fashion sector. Continue reading »

India’s Snapdeal, an online marketplace akin to EBay, is powering ahead, with sales growing five-fold between 2012 and 2013. But what is unusual is that it in a male-dominated society in which men hold the purse strings, it is women who are driving much of the growth.

Kunal Bahl, chief executive, says the company could realistically make sales of between $10bn and $20bn in the next five years. This compares to current annual sales of almost $1bn, according to Bahl. Continue reading »

Last year, eBay began a partnership with Snapdeal, an Indian online marketplace, investing an undisclosed sum. Now it has said it will lead a funding round of over $133m in the company.

It is part of a wider move by international groups to foster the Indian ecommerce industry and a sign of consolidation in a sector which still has a lot of scope for growth. Continue reading »

Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, may be right when he dismisses the link between inflation and growth – if Indian shoppers are anything to go by.

Rajan has been hiking the repo lending rate since he took office in September, looking to control inflation. And quite right too, says KPMG: it seems that high inflation is hitting consumer confidence in Asia’s third largest economy. Continue reading »

From flash ‘Guchi’ trainers to fashionable ‘Caiwen Kelai’ boxers, Mumbai’s popular Chor Bazaar (meaning “thieves’ market”) can fulfil all your luxury desires. Often for less than Rs100 ($1.62) a pop.

India’s market for counterfeit luxury goods is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of as much as 45 per cent, according to a new report from the the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. But some analysts reckon the numbers themselves lack the ring of authenticity. Continue reading »

Don't worry, it's not happening

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), having assumed power in Delhi just last month, is starting to deliver on the populist promises in its manifesto. On Monday, its target was FDI in multibrand retail as it took advantage of the opt-out clause and rolled back approvals for the state.

For foreign investors, it makes India that bit less attractive. Continue reading »

Let's go shopping

We have a new class of customer in town, or in India at least – the “closet consumer”.

India accounts for just 1-2 per cent of the global market for luxury but this is set to rocket thanks to a newly wealthy section of the population, according to a new research from the Confederation of Indian Industry and IMRB International, the market researchers. Continue reading »

Last year the Indian government eased the rules on FDI into single-brand retail, allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership. Yet Villeroy & Boch, the German-owned porcelain manufacturer, has chosen to come to India in a joint venture with a local partner.

It raises questions about the policy reform and whether foreign stores will set up alone in India – even if they are now allowed to. Continue reading »

How do international brands such as Jimmy Choo and Burberry work in India? What makes Bottega Veneta and Canali sell in a nation where the GDP per capita is less than the price of many designer handbags?

Genesis Luxury offers an answer. Founded in 2008, the group works as local partner in India for these and many other high end brands, through joint ventures and marketing and distribution agreements. Continue reading »

India has long struggled with its rules on foreign direct investment, especially in retail. There have been street protests over retail giants such as Walmart entering the country, as small retailers worry about the impact. And the reforms have been something of a mess, prompting as many questions as answers.

So did amendments announced on Thursday to FDI policy in retail clarify anything? Continue reading »

Indian wholesale customers browse the newly-opened Walmart outlet in northwestern Punjab state's Jalandhar on August 4, 2010.Yet another glitch in the Indian government’s attempt to attract foreign direct investment.

Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has said it will not be able to use local suppliers for 30 per cent of its sourcing, one of the conditions on FDI in multi-brand retailing in India. Continue reading »

Internet, consumer goods and aspirational brands – they always crop up when folk in India discuss the growth of the economy. And a business that incorporates all three sounds like a recipe for success. claims to be the largest online fashion store in India – by revenues, by customers and by daily traffic – with 30 per cent market share. Continue reading »

McDonald’s burgers, Bata shoes, Titan watches – household names with stores on most of the India’s main streets. But rather than run the operations themselves, these popular brands are using franchises to access the Indian market – and other businesses are catching on.

Operating via franchise, a business structure where companies licence out the right to sell products or provide services in their name, allows businesses to expand rapidly. A report suggests that total sales made through franchisees in India, valued at $13.4bn in 2012, will quadruple by 2017. Continue reading »