US retail giant Walmart hopes to become a success story in India following its official US$16bn purchase on Wednesday (9 May) of a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart, India's biggest online retailer, according to media reports.
The BBC said Walmart is betting on the fact that India's e-commerce market, estimated at US$38bn in 2017, is expected to grow up to US$200bn by 2027 as the number of Indians using smartphones and the internet increases rapidly in the next decade.
The deal - the world's biggest e-commerce acquisition to date - is also a new front in Walmart's battle with Amazon, which is second to Flipkart in India in terms of online market share, reports said.
"India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate," Walmart's president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a company statement.
After failing to make a serious dent in other big foreign markets such as China, Brazil, Germany and UK, Walmart wants India to be its foreign success story, reports Entrackr.com.
The Arkansas-based company, which has 21 stores in India, plans to open 50 more stores in the next four-five years, according to the publication.
“We expect to open five stores in the current year and then pick up pace and eventually start opening 12-15 stores a year,” Walmart India president and CEO Krish Iyer was quoted as saying.