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The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No.

1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 1

AbstractForeign Direct Investment (FDI) plays a very important role in economic development for any
developing and under-developing nation. India, the largest democracy and the second largest populated country
in the world is facing a tremendous challenge to fight against inflation and unemployment. To combat with the
menace- the inflation, FDI, can provide the life-blood to India economy. Though late but the UPA-II
Government, lead by Dr. Manmohan Singh, has taken decision on November-2012, to allow 51% FDI in
multi-brand retail and 100% FDI in single brand retail sector. Protest was also raised by several political
parties both in and out side the Govt. This research paper will try to find out the fact and the fiction about the
probable impact of FDI in retail sector upon the small businessmen.
KeywordsFDI; India; Research; Retail; Sample.
AbbreviationsConfederation of Indian Industries (CII); First Moving Consumer Good (FMCG); Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI); Gross Domestic Product (GDP); National Capital Region (NCR); Public Sector Unit
(PSU); Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT); Trent Hypermarket Ltd (THL); United
Progressive Alliance (UPA); West-Bengal (W.B).

ETAIL is the new buzzword in India. The humble
dukandaars (shopkeepers) of today are the focus of
attention. Many believe that retail in India is a recent
phenomenon but it exists long before the start of modern
marketing as a form of barter. Since independence retail in
India has evolved to support the unique needs of our country
albeit with all its size and complexity. Haats (a fixed area
where farmers gather to sell the vegetables weekly or
biweekly), Mandis (whole-sale market place for essential
commodities) and Meelas (fair organize to celebrate some
occasion) have always been a part of Indian culture and are
still present in almost all parts of our country.
In the past decade the Indian market place has
transformed dramatically. However, from 1950s to 1980s,
investment in various industries was limited due to low
purchasing power in the hand of consumer and Government
policies of protecting the Public Sector Units (PSU). But at
the beginning of 1990s, the liberation policy has been
adopted, as a result of which the economy had opened up,
many restrictions on private companies were lifted up and a
new large middle class with spending power has emerged.
The vast middle class market demanded value for money
products. The emergence of modern Indian house wife, who
managed her home and work place led to demand for more
products, better shopping ambience, more convenience and
one stop shopping, fuelled the growth of departmental stores,
supermarkets other specialty stores.
The concept of retail as entertainment came to India with
the advent of malls. The development of malls is now being
visible not only in major metros but also in medium cities of
the country.
In the past few years the whole concept of shopping has
been altered in terms of format and consumer buying
behavior. With the increasing urbanization, the Indian
consumer is emerging as more trend-conscious. There has
also been a shift from price considerations to designs and
quality as there is a greater focus on looking and feeling good
(apparel as well as fitness). At the same time, the Indian
consumer is not beguiled by retail products which are high on
price but commensurately low on value or functionality.
However, it can be said that the Indian consumer is a
paradox, where the discount shopper loyalty takes a backseat
over price discounts.
Indians have grown richer and thus spending more on
vehicles, phones and eating out in restaurants. The spending
is focused more outside the homes, unlike in other Asian
countries where consumers have tended to spend more on
personal items as they grow richer (CII, Logistics and Freight
News, March 2006.). Spending on luxury goods have
increased twice as fast with 2/3 of India's population is under
35, consumer demand is clearly growing. The mall mania has
bought in a whole new breed of modern retail formats across
the country catering to every need of the value-seeking Indian
consumer. An average Indian would see a mall as a perfect
weekend getaway with family offering them entertainment,
leisure, food, shopping all under one roof.
*Vice-Principal, International Institute of Business and Excellence, Kumarpur, G.T. Road, Asansol, West Bengal, INDIA.
E-Mail: moloybreeze{at}rediffmail{dot}com, Web: www.iibeonline.com
Dr. Moloy Ghoshal*
Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on
Unorganised Retail Sector of India
A Research Report
The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 2
Boston Consulting Group (2012) estimated that the retail
sales were $ 471 billion with 7 percent share for the
organized retail ($ 34 billion) in 2011. It also shows that by
2020 the size of the organized retail to be around $ 260
billion with a penetration of 21 percent. Increasing middle
class incomes and use of automobiles, refrigerators, credit
cards and adoption of technology for supply chain is expected
to shift the balance in favor of organized retail in metros and
small towns.
FDI as defined in Dictionary of Economics is investment in a
foreign country through the acquisition of a local company or
the establishment there of an operation on a new (Greenfield)
site. To put in simple words, FDI refers to capital inflows
from abroad that is invested in or to enhance the production
capacity of the economy [Batra, 2010].
The Impact of the Evolution of Modern retailing, the
influx of supermarkets in developing countries and
transitioning economies, which brings with it higher-quality
products, greater product diversity, and often lower prices,
should theoretically be beneficial to consumers, especially
those who are poor [e.g., Marijke DHaese & Guido Van
Huylenbroeck, 2005; Thomas Reardon & Ashok Gulati,
2008]. At the same time, increased competition may force
traditional retailers, many of whom are also vulnerable to
poverty, out of business. According to Reardon & Rose
Hopkins (2006) and Bart Minten (2008), the battles between
supermarkets and traditional retailers in developing countries
take place on several fronts, including price, convenience,
product quality, and safety.
Most studies of developing and transition countries find
that the effects of supermarkets on traditional retailers are
mainly negative, although effects differ in magnitude for
different types of retailers. As supermarkets spread, the
traditional retail sector declines, and the fastest decline has
been experienced by small general stores selling broad lines
of processed foods and dairy products, while fresh produce
shops and wet markets tend to hold out longer. The former
outlets tend to have trouble competing with supermarket
chains that buy in bulk and have economics of scale on their
side [Reardon & Julio A. Berdegue, 2002; Reardon & Rose
Hopkins, 2006; Alex M. Mutebi, 2007]. In developing
countries such as India, traditional bazaars for fresh food
remain competitive in terms of price, freshness, and shopping
convenience [Maruyama & Le V. Trung, 2007]. Poor
consumers tend to purchase very little from supermarkets due
to material constraints (e.g., price and transportation), though
they also tend to have high opinions of supermarkets [Muriel
Figuie & Paule Moustier, 2009].
Much of the available evidence indicates that small
farmers and processors in developing and transition countries
are often excluded from these modern supply chains. When
supermarkets modernize their procurement systems, they
require more from suppliers with respect to volume,
uniformity, consistency, quality, costs, continuity of product
supply, on-time delivery, and commercial practices. For this
reason, supermarket chains prefer to source from medium and
large enterprises, which are usually better positioned than
small enterprises to meet their demands. Thus, the rise of
supermarkets poses a substantial challenge to small
enterprises [e.g., Nigel Key & David Runsten, 1999; Reardon
& Christopher Barrett, 2000; Dave Weatherspoon et al.,
2001; Johann Kirsten & Kurt Sartorius, 2002; Dave
Weatherspoon & Thomas Reardon, 2003; Humphrey et al.,
2004; Cadilhon et al., 2005]. However, small farmers may
also benefit from changes pertaining to centralized
procurement systems, the use of specialized wholesalers and
preferred supplier systems, and demanding requirements of
private contracts [Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2007; Bart Minten et
al., 2009]. Modern retail systems can also create new jobs.
Some of this new employment inevitably results in a loss of
traditional retail sector jobs, but, depending on the formats
used by modern retailers, the expansion of the consumer
market facilitated by modern retail plus small-format
innovations can, in turn, expand employment. Employees in
the modern sector are often better paid and enjoy better
working conditions, but they must also acquire more skills
and education than acquired by employees in the traditional
sector [e.g., Kearney, 2006; Thomas Reardon & Ashok
Gulati, 2008].
3.1. The Sample
The purpose of this study was to obtain a better
understanding of local unorganized retailers of Asansol &
Durgapur urban area; the two rapidly growing industrial cities
in West Bengal, India, with a population density of near
about 15 lakhs, as per the census 2011, and how far the whole
unorganized retailing sector is actually affected by
introduction of few renowned retail groups in this area. The
pursuit of this key objective was guided by the specific
questions asked to the retailers with the help of a standard
questionnaire. A sample of 150 retailers consist of Kirana
(Grocery), Garments, Electronics and Vegetable venders who
are supposed to be affected by the FDI, were visited by the
researcher to collect the primary data related to their practical
experience about the impact of mall culture. Mostly the
owner of the shops was interviewed. The sampling technique
was stratified random sampling.
3.2. Sample Error
The following sampling error may occur in the research
process: the sample size is too small to represent the whole
Retail sector of India, as because; it is so diverse a field
which can not be defined based on the sample from two small
cities like Asansol & Durgapur (W.B). Apart from this, the
researcher took all care to minimize the other probable
sampling error like- design error, interview error, respondent
error, biased error etc.
3.3. Data Collection
To collect the required data the researchers visited the shops
in concerned, personally and got the related information
through the research instrument designed, the questionnaire.
The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 3
A total of nine questions were asked to measure self-
assessment of the impact of FDI in retail sector especially in
multi-brand area. All questions were assessed on
dichotomous type of closed ended questions i.e. the
respondents have two options to give answer; Yes or No. The
reasons behind formatting a close ended questionnaire are
that close ended questions can more easily analysed; because
of the simplicity of it, the respondents feel ease to give
answer on questions, it is more specific and in large scale
surveys closed ended questionnaires take less time of the
interviewer and the interviewees.
Descriptive data analysis technique was used by the
researcher apart from his personal observations. A SWOT
(Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) along with the
tabulation of data and column chart drawn with the help of
excel, will help the researcher to draw some conclusion upon
his research work. The questions were analysed one by one
after SWOT analysis:
4.1. SWOT-Analysis
SWOT analysis is a tool that identifies the strength,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an industry. Actually
SWOT analysis is a basic straight forward model that
assesses what an organization can and cant do as well as its
potential opportunities and threats. The method of SWOT
analysis is to take the information from an environmental
analysis and separate it into internal (strength and weakness)
and external (opportunity and threat).
Once this is completed, SWOT determines what may
assist the firm in accomplishing its objectives and what
obstacles must be overcome or minimized to achieve desired
4.1.1. Strengths
A large young working population with median age of
24 years, nuclear families in urban areas, along with
increasing working women population and emerging
opportunities in the service sector are going to be the
key growth drivers of the organised retail sector in
Customers will have access to greater variety of
international quality branded goods.
Employment opportunities both direct and indirect
have been increased. Farmers get better prices for their
products though improvement of value added food
Increase in disposable income and customer
aspirations are important factors.
Increase in expenditure for luxury items is also vital.
Large domestic market with an increasing middle class
and potential customers with purchasing power.
Ranked second in Global Retail Development Index of
30 developing countries drawn up by AT Kearney.
The annual growth of departmental stores is estimated
at 24%.
The benefits of larger organized retail segments are
several. The consumers get a better product at cheaper
price. So consumers get value for their money.
The governments of states like Delhi and National
Capital Region (NCR) are very upbeat about
permitting the use of land for commercial
development thus increase the availability of land for
retail space.
4.1.2. Weakness
Will mainly cater to high-end consumers placed in
metros and will not deliver mass consumption goods
for customers in villages and small towns.
Retail chains are yet to settled down with proper
merchandise mix for the mall outlets. Retailing today
is not about selling at the shop, but also about
researching and surveying the market, offering choice,
competitive prices and retailing consumers as well.
Small size outlets are also one of the weaknesses in
the Indian retailing. 96% of the outlets are lesser than
500 sq.ft. The retail chains are also smaller than those
in the developed countries for instance, the superstore
food chain, food world is having only 52 outlets where
as Carrefour promotes has 8800 stores in 26 countries.
The rapid development of retail sector is the sharp
improvement in the availability of retail space. But the
current rally in property prices, retail real estate rentals
have increased remarkably, which may render a few
retailing business houses unavailable. Retail
companies have to pay high rentals which are
blockage in the turn of profits.
The volume of sales in Indian retailing is also very
low. India has largest population in the world and a
fast growing economy.
4.1.3. Opportunity
Once the concept picks up, due to demonstration
effect, there will be an overall up-gradation of
domestic retail trade.
Global retail giants take India as key market. It is rated
fifth most attractive retail market. The organized retail
sector is expected to grow stronger than GDP growth
in the next five years driven by changing lifestyles,
increase in income and favourable demographic
outline. Food and apparel retailing are key drivers of
Indian retail industry has come forth as one of the
most dynamic and fast paced industry with several
players entering the market.
It can become one of the largest industries in terms of
numbers of employees and establishments.
Rural retailing is still unexploited in Indian market.
4.1.4. Threat
One of the greatest barriers to the growth of modern
retail formats are the supply chain management issues.
No major changes are needed in the supply chain for
The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 4
FMCG products; these are well developed and
efficient. For perishables, the system is too complex.
Government regulations, lack of adequate
infrastructure and inadequate investment are the
possible bottlenecks for retail companies. The supply
chain for staples is less complicated than the net
groceries. But staples have a unique problem of non-
Difficult to target all segments of society.
Emergence of hyper and super markets trying to
provide customer with value, variety and volume.
Heavy initial investment is required to break even with
other companies and compete with them.
Labour rules and regulation are also not followed in
the organized retails.
Organized retailing in India is yet to get an industry
status.100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is not
permitted in retailing in India. Ownership of retail
chain is allowed only to the extent of 49% but without
FDI, the sector is deprived of access to foreign
technologies and faster growth.
Problem of car parking in urban areas is serious
Sector is unable to employ retail staff on contract
The unorganized sector has dominance over the
organized sector in India because of low investment
4.2. Analysis of Primary Data
As it has been mentioned by the researcher that a total 150
retailers were visited, the profile of them are as follows:

From the above figure, we can see that out of 150 retail
were interviewed, 145 of them were the owner of the shops
and remaining 5 were the employees of some big retail shops.

From the above figure, it is clear that out of the total 150
retailers visited, 50 each of them were kirana and garment
shops. Among the remaining 50, 30 were electronics
appliances shops and 20 were vegetable vendors.
After the demographic analysis the researcher went for
the questionnaire analysis where questions were asked to the
interviewees about their opinion on different aspect of FDI on
retail sector.
4.2.1. Q1. Are you aware about mall?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents 135 answered in Yes and 15 respondents
answered in No, which implies that majority of the
respondents (90%) are aware about the Mall. The remaining
10% who are not aware about Mall are mostly the vegetable
4.2.2. Q2. Are you aware about Wal-Mart?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents 30 respondents answered in Yes and 120
respondents answered in No, which implies that majority of
the respondents (80%) are not aware about Wall-Mart and
only 20% have heard about retail giant like Wal-Mart. This
shows the ignorance of common retailers about the world
The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 5
4.2.3. Q3. Are you aware about FDI?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents 82 respondents answered in Yes and 68
respondents answered in No, which implies that 55% of the
respondents are aware about FDI and 45% have not heard
about FDI. This implies that the awareness level about FDI in
grass root level are still not satisfactory.
4.2.4. Q4. Are you concerned about Mall culture?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents 30 respondents answered in Yes and 120
respondents answered in No, which implies that majority of
the respondents(80%) are not concerned about mall culture
and only 20% have showed their concerned about the recent
liking of mall culture amongst youth. Especially the garments
retailers are little bit worry about this change in fashion trend.

4.2.5. Q5. Have you experienced any impact on your current

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents only 25 respondents answered in Yes and
125 respondents answered in No, which implies that more
than 80% of the respondents are in the opinion that opening
of mall has very negligible impact upon their sale. The
reasons behind this neutral impact upon the small
shopkeepers are that the middle and lower middle class
customers prefer to shop in conventional market and shop
where they feel comfort and can bargain. Mostly the
customers are loyal to their respective retailers. Shopping in
Mall is just an entertainment for them not a habit
4.2.6. Q6. Do you have the fear that FDI in retail will close
small shops?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents 28 answered in Yes and 122 were answered
in No, which implies that more than 81% of the respondents
are not concerned about mall and have no tension; near about
only 20% have showed their concerned about the recent
liking of mall culture and are little bit worried.
The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 6
4.2.7. Q7. Are you in favour of Govt. decision to allow 51%
FDI in multi brand retail?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents only 46 respondents answered in Yes and
104 respondents answered in No, which implies that more
than 30% of the sample taken are in favour of the government
proposal of FDI in retail. The reason behind the favourable
answer against FDI in retail was that Mall attract customer to
come into the market, which increase the probability of
boosting their sale also. But majority of the respondents
(70%) are against the government proposal of allowing
foreign investment in retail.
4.2.8. Q8. Do you think FDI in retail will increase job

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents surprisingly 112 respondents were answered
in Yes and only 38 respondents were answered in No, which
implies that near about 75% of the sample taken are in favour
of the opinion that introduction of FDI or big Mall will create
job for both educated and uneducated people in direct and
indirect way.
4.2.9. Q9. Do you think FDI in retail will increase standard
of living?

The respondents were asked to answer in Yes or No.
From the table and consecutive graph it is clear that out of
150 respondents 120 respondents answered in Yes and only
30 respondents were answered in No, which implies that 80%
of the sample taken are in favour of the opinion that
introduction of FDI or big Mall will help in increasing the
standard of living of the people. This will lead to
consumption of more luxury products by consumers and
increase in sale of household items.
The above analysis was done to find out the perception of the
small retailers upon big stores in awake of allowing FDI in
multi-brand retail which may lead to a closure of
unorganized, conventional and small mummy-pop stores.
Questions were asked about impact of mall on small business,
fear of closure of shops due to big organized mall;
surprisingly majority of respondents (80%) did not feel any
impact on their current business so the fear of closure of the
small retail shops is not so sound to think about it. They are
confident of the fact that the market segment is different;
their business is mostly run by the loyal customers. As
mentioned earlier that middle and lower middle class
customers, who are the lion share of the market feel comfort
to shop in conventional market where they can argue and
bargain with.
On the other hand the retailers feel the opening of Mall
will create more jobs for all kind of people viz. for producers,
suppliers, farmers, graduates and even for the unskilled
labours, which may increase the standard of living of the
society and consequence increase in sales of their shops also.
It has also been noticed that based on a big mall, several
supporting and relevant businesses are flourished and the
overall standard of living of the surrounded areas also raised
as found in the data analysis.

The SIJ Transactions on Industrial, Financial & Business Management (IFBM), Vol. 2, No. 1, January-February 2014
ISSN: 2321 242X 2014 | Published by The Standard International Journals (The SIJ) 7
Indian retail sector is growing fast and its employment
potential is growing fast. The retail scene is changing really
fast. Retailers are rethinking their approaches towards the
suppliers so that they can get the best pricing strategies for
them. There is no surprise why from an Ambani to Mittal,
Godrej to Birla, everybody is ready with the plans to kick
start retail revolution in India. Apart from above, retail sector
in India is also catalyst for the growth of staling tactics of
below the line marketing used by major retail players Like
Spencer, big bazaar, reliance fresh etc. For tapping customers
by creating points of sales displays. So we can say that India
is a rising star and going to be one of the fastest growing
regions of the future. Allowing healthy FDI in the retail
sector would not only lead to a substantial surge in the
countrys GDP and overall economic development, but would
inter alia also help in integrating the Indian retail market with
that of the global retail market in addition to providing not
just employment but a better paying employment, which the
unorganized sector (Kirana and other small type retailing
shops) have undoubtedly failed to provide to the masses
employed in them. Allowing FDI in multi brand retail can
bring about Supply Chain Improvement, investment in
Technology, Manpower and Skill development, Tourism
Development, Greater Sourcing from India, Up gradation in
Agriculture, Efficient Small and Medium Scale Industries.
Two days before New Year, 2014, the government on
Monday (Business-Standard, New-Delhi/article,31/12/2013)
approved British retail giant Tesco Plcs plan to invest $110
million to buy 50 per cent stake in Tata Groups Trent
Hypermarket Ltd (THL). With this, Tesco will become the
first foreign player to open stores here that will sell anything
from fruit to furniture.

The nod given by the Foreign Investment Promotion
Board (FIPB) is expected to open the doors for future
investments by foreign retailers. So far the market has been
dominated by domestic players such as Tatas Trent, Future
Group, Reliance Retail and Aditya Birla Retail.
According to the FDI policy in place, the company has to
invest a minimum 50 per cent of the $110 million in creating
new back-end infrastructure. Back-end infrastructure refers to
packaging, logistics, storage and warehouse, among others.
The FIPB meeting, chaired by Economic Affairs
Secretary Arvind Mayaram, also approved British telecom
group Vodafones $1.6-billion investment plan to take full
ownership of its India business. The proposal is yet to get
Cabinet approval [20].
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail
trading was allowed in September 2012 but with a set of
conditions that global retailers were opposed to. Major
foreign players such as Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour were
severely against some of the particular regulations related to
mandatory investment in back-end infrastructure, compulsory
30 per cent local procurement norms and restrictions on cities
in the FDI policy. Under pressure, the government had to
relax the policy in August2013. In October2013, the policy
suffered another setback with US retail juggernaut Wal-Mart
breaking of its six-year partnership with Bharti Group.
Tescos entry might not open the floodgates yet as
foreign retailers still have difficulties with the sourcing norms
and in scouting for Indian partners. In the coming months
you can see other global retailers present in India making
applications. But you need a partner in India to actually go
ahead and apply for approvals. Most other global retailers in
India are still looking for partners. There are just a few global
retail chains that can make the huge investment required,
said Arvind Singhal, chairman, Technopak India. According
to Pinakiranjan Mishra, partner and national leader (retail &
consumer products), EY, retailers will not play their card
before the elections are over, though he added that a rollback
of the policy was unlikely.
So we may conclude that this type initiative is just a
beginning of a long journey.
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Dr. Moloy Ghoshal, B.Sc. (Chem. Hons)
MBA (Mktg), MBA (Ret.Mgt), Ph.D.
(Quality-Mgt) is a marketing and quality
management academician, having more than
14 years of experience in teaching
management students and imparting training
to polytechnic professors of different
Government Polytechnic Colleges of India.
Apart from a vast experience of teaching, he
has published numbers of national and international papers in
different journal of repute, like Sasmira Business Review, Amity
Business Journal, Int. Journal of Quality Eng & Technology, Int.jnl.
of Indian Culture & Business Mgt., BVIMR-Mgt Edge to name a
few. He worked as an Assistant Director in Institute of Productivity
and Management, Kanpur (U.P) since March 2000 to April 2013. At
present, he is Professor and Vice-Principal of International Institute
of Business and Excellence, Asansol (W.B), India.