The choice for choices ?
It has been reported in Indian press that very soon, the Government of India will be allowing 51% FDI participation in Retail in India. This will be an occasion which will trigger of huge amount of debate amongst the people here with mixed opinion.
One one hand, we will have supporters of this decision as they want more options, more choice and more attractive prices amidst a free-for-all cut-throat competition. It is often stated by many people in US that Walmart is one of the factors that has helped America control her inflation. Whether this is the sole factor or not, I don’t know – but definitely cut-throat open market helps the consumers as they can go for multiple choices and get the best deal from the so many players in the market. However, critics say that the benefit is passed ONLY to the extreme end of the supply chain – the consumers, people like you and me.
The views on Walmart and it’s impact on the lives of people have been debated for long and will be debated in the future as well – one of such viewpoint is provided below:
Whether this will help the other end of the supply chain is a big question to be debated – specially in the Indian social context where you have poor farmers, distributors getting impacted by this process. The Indian market context is very much different from that of the developed nations like US, UK, Germany. Here, we have a big factor of un-organised retail, the “local” shop who caters to many consumers, knowing their likings by name and often passing on a credit-based business model. This chunk of population will be the most impacted – because the huge middle-class people having more purchasing power might shift loyalty from their “favourite” local shops and go for the big retailers. This is because they will enjoy the shopping experience, will enjoy the more choices and of course, will enjoy the prices more.
How this will impact India overall is something that time will only tell – however, there will be a lot of noise coming out from the Opposition within India and lot of talk will happen on “protecting” the weak and the poor players on the sourcing side of the supply chain. But I as an individual might be smiling soon !