The UK’s Tesco and France’s Carrefour are expected to follow Walmart’s decision to enter the country.
Price said Walmart does not have a “blueprint for India”, saying that the company has not yet decided where to locate its stores or how many stores there will be.
However, Walmart does have plans to expand its partnership with Bharti Enterprises, with which the company currently operates cash and carry services in the country.
India has permitted retailers to set up stores only in cities with a population of over one million. But Price feels that in time, more states will want the retailers to come in.
“I’m a really good salesman,” he said. “At some point we’ll be able to operate there… If we have 15 or 16 stores [to start with in India], so be it.”
However, some analysts feel that Walmart faces a tough task establishing itself in India.
Praveen Chakravarty, chief executive of investment banking and equities at AnandRathi Investment Bank in Mumbai, told the WSJ that foreign retailers will find conditions difficult.
“I’m sceptical about Walmart’s ability to scale up in India to even 20 stores over the next five years and make the economics work,” he said.