American retail giant Walmart has launched its pilot e-commerce operations in India, a $450 bn retail market it has been eyeing for long.
The company has been talking about it for some time now. The new B2B portal at Bestpricewholesale.co.in has been launched in Lucknow and Hyderabad.
Walmart has plans to ramp up operations in the coming months but is yet to make a move on the B2C front. Foreign direct investment in not allowed in B2C e-commerce in India.
Walmart’s online rival Amazon has had quite a headstart in India. It has already started operating a marketplace. Most recently, Amazon entered into a Joint Venture with billionaire Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures to equip small sellers with tools to sell online.
Best Price Modern Wholesale is a cash and carry wholesale business (first launched in 2009) from which smaller shops can purchase and retail at their own outlets.
The company currently owns ad operates 20 such stores in 8 states across the country. In April, Walmart announced its plans to open 50 cash & carry stores in India in the next 4-5 years and tie up its e-commerce platform to the stores.
Meanwhile, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited is also strengthening its online retail arm.