Impact of Multi Brand Foreign Direct Investment in Retail Sector in India

16 Pages Posted: 10 May 2012 Last revised: 24 Aug 2013

See all articles by G. S. Popli

G. S. Popli

Delhi School of Business

Sima Kumari

Delhi School of Professional Studies and Research (DSPSR)

Date Written: May 9, 2012


India has been placed at first position in the category of countries with the best opportunity for investment in the Retail Sector by a survey of A.T. Kearney’s 2005 on Global Retail Development. The increasing disposable incomes among the Indian middle class and increasing young population have been cited as the main reasons for such attractive optimism. This positive opinion of the experts has also encouraged the intense lobbying by certain sections for opening Foreign Direct Investment in this sector. Foreign investors are also very enthusiastic to invest in India’s Retail Sector.

At present India does not allow FDI in multi-brand retail but permits up to 51 percent in single brand retail and 100 percent in cash and carry wholesale trading. There is a ban on FDI in big multi-brand retail stores but there is no restriction on companies accessing the foreign equity market through the American and Global Depository Receipts. The Government of India opened up FDI in ‘Single Brand Retailing’ in the year 2006. This was done with a primary motive of giving a boost to organized retailing in India.

However, there’s another equally strong lobby that has been opposing this idea tooth and nail. They claim that it will mop away the corner shops in every locality and chuck inhabitants out of the jobs and bring unthinkable melancholy. The Government cap over FDI in retail, like in many other sectors, has been essentially a personification of the dilemma that confronts policy makers about whether opening up FDI in retail would be a boon or bane for the sector and for the stakeholders involved in it.

This Research Paper makes a modest attempt of developing an insight as to what are the trends in the Indian Retail Industry and to the benefits and drawbacks of FDI in this sector. It has also focused on whether this policy will be beneficial for the Indian Economy as a whole or not.

Keywords: FDI, customer satisfaction, retail industry, global retail development index, personification, melancholy and privatization

Suggested Citation

Popli, Gurmukh Singh and Kumari, Sima, Impact of Multi Brand Foreign Direct Investment in Retail Sector in India (May 9, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Gurmukh Singh Popli (Contact Author)

Delhi School of Business ( email )

VIPS - Technical Campus
AU Block, Outer Ring Road
Delhi, 110034

Sima Kumari

Delhi School of Professional Studies and Research (DSPSR)

9, Institutional Area,
Sector 25 Rohini Phase III
Delhi, Delhi 110085

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