India: Walmart CEO says Indian market is a priority

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon went on a two-day trip to Bangalore, India and said his company is committed to the Indian market, and that the country presents a huge opportunity, according to reports.

The company, which acquired Indian e-Commerce outfit Flipkart nearly a year ago, also stated a level playing field for all businesses is important for economic growth in the country.

With McMillon on his trip to India were Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs Dan Bartlett and Executive Vice President and Regional CEO, Asia Dirk Van den Berghe. They met with Walmart leadership executives in the area.

McMillon made his remarks at a town hall meeting with employees, the report stated.

McMillon was asked about the changes to India’s market, such as the regulations put in place on February 1 that prohibited online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart from selling products from companies they had a stake in, as well as the banning of exclusive marketing agreements that could affect price.

He said Walmart operates throughout multiple countries and that it complies with laws pertaining to those specific markets. He reiterated that a level playing field is important and that it’s something companies seek out.

He also said he was satisfied with how Flipkart was doing in the country, and he said it has the full backing of Walmart, which is pushing aggressively in the country because of the large opportunity it represents.

When the regulations were first announced, Walmart expressed displeasure but stated that it hoped for a more collaborative regulatory process moving forward.

McMillon praised Flipkart for its progress and prominent position in the e-Commerce market. Flipkart Group Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Rajneesh Kumar said McMillon’s trip was a chance to meet with employees in the country, according to the report.

“As part for the trip, he interacted with Flipkart’s leadership team and employees. He is delighted with the progress the team is making to take eCommerce to [the] next 200-300 millions customers in India, and bring a great selection through [the] right affordability construct to consumers in the country,” Kumar said.

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