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FDI in Retail Sector : INDIA


Published by Academic Foundation
in association with
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, 
Food and Public Distribution (Govt. Of India)
Paper  Back Book     :   Pages : 200 (Two Colour)
2005  Edition         :   ISBN - 81-7188-480-6
Price : Rs. 995.00   :   USD $ 89.95
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India is in the midst of a retail boom. The sector witnessed significant transformation in the past decade—from small unorganised family-owned retail formats to organised retailing. Indian business houses and manufacturers are setting up retail formats while real estate companies and venture capitalist are investing in retail infrastructure. Many international brands have entered the market. With the growth in organised retailing, unorganised retailers are fast changing their business models. However, retailing is one of the few sectors where foreign direct investment (FDI) is not allowed at present.

Stakeholders, trading associations, politicians, etc. have given various arguments for and against FDI in retailing. However, such arguments are largely based on perception and there has not been serious academic research in this area. To fill this lacuna, this survey-based study analyses the current retail scenario in India, investigates the growth across different segments of retailing and evaluates the likely impact of allowing FDI on various stakeholders in different retail segments. Experiences of other countries in allowing FDI and its impact are also discussed. Presently, foreign players are entering the market through different routes. The entry process and their perception about the Indian market are analysed. The study investigates the structural, regulatory, fiscal and other barriers affecting the performance of retail trade and suggests reforms for the removal of such barriers. It also provides valuable policy inputs in terms of the time-frame in and the process through which the Indian government can open up this sector to FDI so as to maximise the welfare and minimise the adjustment. It also lists the conditions that may be imposed on foreign retailers if FDI is allowed. 

The preliminary findings of this survey study were presented before the Government and various stakeholders at a seminar in New Delhi on November 22, 2004. The findings evoked significant interest and debate. After taking into account the feedback from various government departments and stakeholders, the Department of Consumer Affairs and ICRIER have decided to publish the final report (in the present form) for wider dissemination and discussion which would enable the government to take important policy decisions with respect to FDI in retailing. This study would be of immense interest to retailers, manufacturers, trading associations, chambers, real estate developers, venture capitalists, foreign retailers and their representatives, consultants, industry associations, government ministries/departments, academicians, and all those who have an interest in the growth of this sector. 


Dr. Arpita Mukherjee is a Senior Fellow at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Her extensive research and contribution to trade in services, WTO, bilateral/regional agreements, labour mobility and labour market programmes has been widely acclaimed. Her research has been used to draw up India’s requests and offers in the Doha Round of GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) negotiations. She has also contributed to various Joint Study Group reports such as Indo-Singapore Joint Study Group and Indo-China Joint Study Group.

Nitisha Patel has a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. Presently, she is working as an Economist at Watson Wyatt Worldwide. She has worked as a Research Assistant in Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) with Dr. Arpita Mukherjee and apart from work related to trade in various service sectors; she has done extensive research on the Retail Sector. Her areas of interest are trade in services, financial economics and labour economics.




List of Tables, Figures and Boxes


Executive Summary


1. Global Developments in Retailing

Statistical Information
Organised Retailing and Expansion of Global Retailers
FDI in Retailing and its Impact
Market Entry Strategies of Foreign Players
Barriers to International Expansion


2. Retailing in India: Recent Trends and Developments

Growth of Organised Retailing
Future Growth of Organised Retailing


3. Survey Methodology

Purpose of the Survey
Design of Survey Instruments
Selection of Respondents


4. Survey Findings: Sectoral Analysis

Food and Grocery
Textiles and Apparel
Consumer Durables
Music and Books
Specialty Products
Fast Food Chains
Non-Store Formats
Shopping Malls
Fuel Retailing


5. Foreign Direct Investment Policy and the Entry Routes

Government Policy
Entry Routes of Foreign Players


6. Perceptions, Concerns and Likely Impact

Perception of Foreign Players about the Indian Market
Arguments by those Opposed to FDI in Retailing
Arguments by those Favouring FDI in Retailing


7. Multilateral Liberalisation: Negotiating Strategies in Retailing

GATS Framework
Analysis of Uruguay Round Commitments
Developments Since the Uruguay Round
Doha Round
Possible Negotiating Strategies


8. Constraints and Reform Requirements

Domestic Constraints
Reforms and Suggestions


9. What Should be the Opening Up Strategy


Appendix: Some Sample Questions


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