Demonetization, series of structural reforms and the implementation of Goods and Service Tax will propel the retail sector into the modern economy, and help attract significant foreign investment, Walmart India CEO, Krish Iyer said.
“GST coupled with demonetization will make way for more formal trade and a more formal economy. We are in the business of modern wholesales and if the whole economy moves towards more formal modes of payment, it’s good for our industry and is good for the economy,” he told Indiaretailing Bureau at the India Food Forum 2017, being held at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai from January 31 – Feb 2.
“GST is not just a tax reform its a way of doing business. Right now if you see a lot of bottlenecks around the country, at check posts, octroi-payments and therefore the amount of time that the trucks have to wait, lack of easy movement of goods from one state to the other. All this will stop with GST. It creates one unified national market which makes supply chain so much easier. It will change the way we do business in the country,” he said.
“Measures by the Government like allowing 100 per cent FDI in food retail, and ease of doing business is going to benefit the entire food chain from farmers to food processing industry,” he added.
Speaking of the effects of demonetization on the company, he said it adversely affected business for the first few weeks, but subsequently benefited Walmart India.
“Non-cash transactions account for 70 per cent of business now compared to 30 per cent pre-demonetization,” Iyer said.
He said that going forward Walmart will focus on reducing food wastage considerably, as well as increase access to affordable food, enhance nutrition and improve sustainability in its operations here.
The company currently operates 21 stores across the country in ‘cash and carry’ format and plans to open 50 more stores in next five years.