Segment-wise FDI in the food and non-food segment is important for the retail sector, said Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani at a close gathering of top industry retailers, which was attended by the who’s who of Indian retail.
Biyani said, “FDI should be looked at differently for food and non-food sectors, where the social and political implications are relatively insignificant. If some sections want to restrict the inflow of foreign retail, they should not restrict the availability of foreign funds, both equity and debt.”
This meeting follows the government’s consent to 51 per cent foreign investment in multi-brand retail, that will open up the sector to international retail giants like Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco and others who have already inked partnerships with top domestic retailers.
The retail sector’s need for an industry status was also stressed upon at the event, attended by Ajit Joshi, CEO of Infiniti Retail, Bijou Kurien, president & CEO, Reliance Retail—Lifestyle, Gaurav Mahajan, COO of Westside, Thomas Verghese, CEO of Aditya Birla Retail, among others.
Biyani said, “The retail real estate scenario is likely to worsen over the next 2-3 years, with declining returns and short-term focus of developers.”
The panel agreed that it was difficult managing the retail business in the absence of an industry status due to conflicting rules and lack of information. They hoped that the introduction of GST would help the industry to serve better. Retail industry leaders further pointed out that the most significant challenge was the dearth of good quality retail space.
Source – The Financial Express