• Business-to-business wholesale cash-and-carry joint venture to set up world-class modern supply chain and back-end logistics infrastructure
• Driving efficiencies across the supply chain will help minimize wastage and provide small retailers quality merchandise at competitive wholesale prices
New Delhi, August 6, 2007: Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced that they have signed an agreement to establish Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited, a joint venture for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India, in line with Government of India guidelines. Under the agreement, Bharti and Wal-Mart will hold a 50:50 stake in Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited.
Wholesale cash-and-carry operations provide small retailers and business owners a wide range of quality products at competitive wholesale prices that help them enhance their businesses and profitability. The Bharti Wal-Mart business-to-business (B2B) wholesale cash-and-carry joint venture will serve kirana stores, fruit and vegetable resellers, restaurants and other business owners. It also will serve other retailers such as Bharti Retail, which is setting up a chain of stores in India that are 100 percent owned and operated by Bharti.
The wholesale cash-and-carry venture will invest in setting up an efficient supply chain. This will link farmers and small manufacturers directly to retailers, thereby maximizing value for farmers and manufacturers on the one end and retailers, and in turn, consumers on the other. The venture will support farmers and small manufacturers who have limited infrastructure and distribution strength, and the supply chain will enable minimum wastage, particularly of fresh foods and vegetables.
“We are delighted to partner with Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises. “Wal-Mart’s global expertise in supply chain and logistics will bring enhanced efficiencies across the retail ecosystem. This venture promises to bring great value to millions of farmers, artisans, small manufacturers and retailers across India. We are pleased to be a partner in developing this sector which is set to become a significant engine of India’s economic growth.”
Mike Duke, Vice Chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said, “We are delighted that, in Bharti, we have a well-respected partner who has a deep understanding of the local market. Through our wholesale cash-and-carry joint venture, we will help drive efficiencies across the supply chain and work towards the betterment of India’s farmers, small manufacturers and retailers, in line with our global vision of saving people money so they can live better. We would also like to leverage our global scale to transform some of these suppliers into exporters with access to our global markets over time.”
The first wholesale cash-and-carry facility is targeted to open by the end of next year. Over the next seven years, the venture is expected to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities and employ approximately 5,000. A typical facility will stand between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet and sell a wide range of fruits and vegetables, groceries and staples, stationery, footwear, clothing, consumer durables and other general merchandise items.
Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited will bring modern supply chain and back-end logistics expertise to India, bringing Wal-Mart’s global best practices in such areas as just-in-time inventory, retail information systems, cold chain infrastructure, GPS for truck and trailer tracking, and fuel management systems.
In addition, Bharti Enterprises’ 100% subsidiary Bharti Retail, that will own and manage the retail stores, has entered into a franchise agreement with Wal-Mart which will provide technical support to Bharti Retail.
Rajan Bharti Mittal, Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises said, “Creating a strong back-end infrastructure will be one of the critical components in the development of modern retailing in India. This partnership is committed to bringing in world-class processes and technologies in the area of supply chain, logistics and cold chain that will be bring immense value to retailers, both big and small, across the country and ultimately benefit the entire retail ecosystem through better quality, and more choice at better prices.”
“One of the key reasons for Wal-Mart’s international success is the fact that in every location where we operate, we are local,” said Raj Jain, Country President for Wal-Mart’s operations in India, who will oversee the India joint venture. “We source local products from local suppliers that appeal to local tastes, needs and fashions. As a wholesale cash-and-carry business, our endeavor is to work with and develop local suppliers and create local beneficiaries along the supply chain. It is our hope that big and small retailers and businesses will be our customers, take advantage of the efficiencies we provide and derive significant benefits for their businesses.”
About Bharti Enterprises
Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agribusiness, insurance and retail. Bharti has been a pioneering force in the telecom sector with many firsts and innovations to its credit. Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company, is one of India’s leading private sector providers of telecommunications services with an aggregate of 44.67 million customers as of end of June 2007 spanning mobile, fixed line, broadband and enterprise services. Bharti Airtel was recently ranked amongst the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007. Bharti Teletech is the country’s largest manufacturer and exporter of telephone terminals. Bharti has a joint venture with ELRo Holdings India Ltd. – ‘FieldFresh Foods Pvt. Ltd’ - for global distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables. Bharti also has a joint venture - ‘Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Ltd.’ - with AXA, world leader in financial protection and wealth management. Bharti has recently forayed into the retail business under a company called Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.