Customers want food and other products in stores: Krish Iyer

By Raghavendra Kamath , Business Standard, Mumbai | In Marketing | September 22, 2016
Interview with CEO, Walmart India.

Walmart India is among the big chains exploring the food retail business, where 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed. Walmart India CEO Krish Iyer speaks to Raghavendra Kamath on the company's plans. Edited Excerpts:

What is the update on Walmart entering Indian food retail?

We continue to evaluate the customer value proposition and economic viability of the business. Customers want both food and other products in stores; so we are thoroughly studying the opportunity.

Have you spoken to the government on allowing other products also in FDI in food retail?

We have not spoken, but industry bodies have made a representation to the government.

The food processing minister recently said India would become the factory for the world in food business. Do you agree?

An opportunity does exist in future. It's all about food safety, efficiency, infrastructure and so on.

How has been the response to your omni-channel operation?

The response has been good. It's just about learning and understanding the influence of digital in shopping. We have realised that the share of influence of digital is high in consumer shopping. We have seen that wholesale buyers use digital more in buying than retail customers.

Do you think your model of everyday low prices (EDLP) is difficult to operate in India given the challenges here?

Not really. We are able to implement EDLP well here. Costs may vary but customer behaviour is similar.

Do you think brick-and-mortar retail is back as e-commerce discounts are coming down?

Brick-and-mortar was always there. It's just about understanding the digital influence and give what shoppers want.