Walmart Not Surprised with Facebook Investment into Reliance Jio

Brett Biggs, CFO of Walmart said that Reliance has been a competitor for Walmart for years

By May 28th, 2020 AT 2:46 PM

walmart-facebook-investment-reliance-jio

The entry of Facebook into the Indian retail market through an investment into Jio Platforms is “not surprising,” Brett Biggs, CFO of Walmart, said in the 36th Annual Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on Wednesday. Biggs said that the Indian market is “competitive” and that the country with a population of 1.3 billion people is “going to attract a lot of investment.” In April, Reliance Industries said that the Facebook would invest Rs 43,574 crore into Jio Platforms for an 9.99% stake. The deal was said to be the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the technology sector in India.

Flipkart is Long Term Investment for Walmart

Additionally, Facebook and Reliance said that the consumers would soon be able to get in touch with their nearest kiranas for products that can be delivered to their homes. The companies said that the consumers can transact seamlessly through the JioMart and WhatsApp platforms. Since the announcement in April, JioMart service has expanded to over 200 cities across India. The JioMart service was initially available in pilot phase in selected areas of Mumbai but Reliance on Sunday expanded its presence to include metros and other major cities.

Meanwhile, Jio Platforms has also attracted investment from several other players including Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic and KKR in the past month.

Biggs said that Reliance has been a competitor for Walmart for years. Walmart, the US retail giant paid US$16 billion in May 2018 to acquire 77% stake in Flipkart but Biggs said that Walmart was keen to enter the Indian market since 2004.

“India’s competitive, we knew that,” Biggs said. “So, when you have 1.3 billion people, it’s going to attract a lot of investment, a lot of the reasons why we went there. So, it’s not surprising.”

Biggs said that the Flipkart is a long term investment for Walmart and that it’s “great business” for the company.

COVID-19 Lockdown Halted Flipkart

Further, Biggs highlighted that Flipkart was virtually forced to shut down through most of April due to government regulations but that the e-commerce site is closer to its normal operations.

“We’re starting to get back to a little bit more normal operations there,” Biggs said. “And just like with every other country, I think India will go through a different cycle. They were pretty early to shut the country down. So, we’ll see how that plays out.”

Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

guest
5 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent Posts

BSNL Switches on 4G Services in Rohtang Tunnel

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has installed three 4G base transceiver stations (BTSs) in the Rohtang Tunnel, enabling users to...

Existing Tata Sky Users Can Upgrade to Binge+ Set-Top Box at Rs 2,499

A few days ago, we reported the price slash on Tata Sky Binge+ Set-Top Box. However, that was for the...

Realme Narzo 20 Pro Becomes Cheapest Phone in India With 65W Fast Charging Support at Rs 14,999

Realme Narzo 20 Pro just went official in the Indian market alongside Realme Narzo 20 and Narzo 20A smartphones. The...