Speed Post delays Tesco’s India retail dream

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 11, 2014 Published on March 10, 2014


Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group, and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) are, apparently, not on the same page as far as communication on Tesco’s joint venture to do business in India is concerned.

While Trent Vice-Chairman Noel Tata says that the group is awaiting final regulatory clearance to take its venture with UK-based multi-brand retailer Tesco forward, the DIPP says “it was sent more than a week ago”.

The communication seems to be lost in transit. A person in the know of developments said: “It was sent but by Speed Post to UK.”

Hard copy only

Trent wanted a soft copy of the consent, but this was not acceptable to DIPP.

Tata met Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma later on Monday to push for faster decisions on the proposed retail joint venture.

Trent operates the supermarket chain Star Bazaar. In December 2013, Tesco formed a joint venture with Trent to start multi-brand retail trade in India. The company plans to invest $110 million in its Indian venture.

Tata-Tesco’s plan, upon securing mandatory approvals, is to focus on Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Tesco had formed an alliance with the Tata group in 2008 for back-end support and for wholesale and franchise agreements.

The €72-billion British retailer supplies around 80 per cent of Star Bazaar’s goods.

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Published on March 10, 2014
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