There is a big debate going around FDI in the country. To come to my conclusion on this debate, I need to know the answer to only one question, which is, “Do we need business of that structure to grow and add value in our living standards?”

I think this debate is not about having one brand big retail outlets. There are many businesses in India which operate on almost same structure like Wal-Mart, Costco of USA or Woolworth’s and Coles of Australia but at lower scale. For example Pantaloon, Bata and Shoppers stop are some of the Indian businesses.

Talking about Pantaloon, they operate in lifestyle and consumer segment of India. Pantaloon, Big bazaar and Home town are the few brand outlets they run. Recently they have opened up 26 food Bazaar outlets in India. They also run 46 outlets as Pantaloon which offers loyalty program Green card to its consumers. They also operate 12 stores as Central in metropolitan cities which offers more than 500 foreign and Indian brands for merchandising.

Bata India is engaged in manufacturing and trading of footwear and its accessories through its retail and wholesale market. They are also involved in property development business. They operate 1200 stores and have 30,000 dealers across country.

Looking at the network of Bata and Pantaloon, there are many millions of small businesses operating around them and doing good business. It is hard for me to believe that our small kirana shops will go out of business if Wal-Mart or any big retail outlet enters into Indian market.

There are millions of small businesses or convenient stores operating successfully in the countries from where these brands are coming from.

With the growth in digital world, the businesses around the globe are changing their business style as per their customer demands. It is high time for India to develop its infrastructure and do business smartly to keep them competitive.

The style and strategy which these brands opt would help us to understand how businesses are done and will help us to develop infrastructure. We will loose many who work as a middleman but what India will gain by this is far bigger than what it will loose. Many of us are also not seeing that these brands will also create many jobs and will develop our supply chain.

People who are over reacting and raising alarm for FDI looks to me a short term hurdles but I do see in long term will add value to Indian businesses and I won’t be surprised to see our own Indian Wal-Mart standing in competition of these foreign brands.