Global retail giant Walmart, which owns Flipkart and PhonePe, is exporting more goods from India as the company looks to reduce its dependence on China and diversify its supply chain amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Citing data firm Import Yeti’s numbers, Reuters reported that Walmart’s imports in the US from India stood at around 25% between January and August this year as against just 2% in 2018. While China still accounted for 60% of Walmart’s imports during the period under review, it was a sharp decline compared to 80% in 2018.
“We want the best prices. That means I need resiliency in our supply chains. I can’t be reliant on any one supplier or geography for my product because we’re constantly managing things from hurricanes and earthquakes to shortages in raw materials,” the news agency quoted Andrea Albright, Walmart’s executive vice president of sourcing, as saying.
However, Walmart said the data does not necessarily mean it is reducing reliance on any country as a sourcing market. The company said it is actively working on increasing the manufacturing capacity and India has played a crucial role in it.
Walmart is exporting goods ranging from toys and electronics to bicycles and pharmaceuticals to the US from India, Albright said.
Walmart, which started sourcing from India in 2002, currently employs 1,00,000 people in India, including temporary workers spread across several offices under its Walmart Global Tech India unit, Flipkart Group, PhonePe and sourcing operations.
Earlier this year, talking about the India goals of the retail major, CEO Doug McMillon said that Walmart is committed to importing Indian goods worth $10 Bn each year by 2027. He added that the company is looking at building partnerships with suppliers and partners, including small and medium enterprises in the country.
The retail major expanded its presence in India in 2018 with the acquisition of 77% stake in ecommerce major Flipkart for $16 Bn. It also spent $3.5 Bn during the six months ended July 31, 2023, to acquire Flipkart shares from non-controlling stakeholders, including Tiger Global and Accel.
Meanwhile, Walmart’s rival Amazon claims to have facilitated exports worth $8 Bn so far from India and is now looking at increasing this number to $20 Bn.
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