Wal-Mart will set up shop in the lucrative Indian market for the first time, the Times of London reports. In collaboration with Indian mobile phone company Bharti, the American retail giant will sell wholesale goods to small shops, restaurants, and other businesses. The first "Bharti Wal-Mart" stores are expected to open by 2009 and are already drawing fire.
The lure is India's $300 billion retail market, which is projected to nearly triple in size by 2015. Wal-Mart's vice chairman says the venture is "in line with our global vision of saving people money so they can live better,” but opponents say the megastore will squash small-scale retailers, which employ 40 million Indians.