New Delhi: Ignoring political opposition to Foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, Bharti Enterprises has already begun talks with Walmart to set up a retail chain in the country. Speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate, Bharti Enterprises Vice Chairman and MD Rajan Bharti Mittal clarified that like in their wholesale joint venture, here too, Walmart will not be allowed to have a majority stake in the partnership.
Below is an excerpt of the interview:
Karan Thapar: When Walmart joins you, you will not be the majority shareholder?
Rajan Bharti Mittal: Neither will they be.
Karan Thapar: Well they are permitted to go upto 51 per cent.
Rajan Bharti Mittal: They are permitted to go upto 100 per cent in the wholesale. It is still a 50-50 joint venture.
Karan Thapar: Are you saying to me that when Walmart becomes a retailer presumably as your partner, you wont permit them to have 51 per cent?
Rajan Bharti Mittal: Talks have started. All I am trying to say is when they had a opportunity to go 100 per cent they went 50-50 with Bharti. Now with the opening of the front end, discussions are on the table and hopefully that relationship that we have enjoyed in the last five years will continue.
Karan Thapar: So it is quite possible even when you become a retailer it will still be 50-50, not 51 in Walmart's favour.
Rajan Bharti Mittal: That is what I am trying to say.