Bharti AirTel, Wal-Mart Sign Tie-Up Deal

Monday, November 27, 2006

Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel has signed a tie-up deal with Wal-Mart to open a chain of retail stores across the country, Sunil B. Mittal, Bharti Airtel’s chief executive officer, said Monday.

Mittal declined to divulge the financial details of the deal, but said it would be a huge investment involving hundreds of stores in India.

“It is going to be a large investment. There will be stores across the country. We are going to be a big player in this market and Wal-Mart will be a joint venture partner,” Mittal told journalists.

Mittal said it would take several months before the first of the stores opened their doors, but added, “We are talking here about several hundred stores eventually.”

He said the retail chain “will probably carry both brand names.”

India’s booming retail market, estimated at about $200 billion, is currently dominated by more than 12 million mom-and-pop shops. Large air-conditioned stores remain a rarity.

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Source: Inside Bay Area (link opens in a new window)