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So the 46-year-old former hedge-fund manager took some risks. He fired senior managers, set more-aggressive sales targets, boosted spending on promotions and promised to dominate India’s festival-season shopping.
His strategy worked, and now comes the return on those risks — a $16bn initial investment from Walmart Inc. in Flipkart Group that helps cement the Indian company’s lead against Amazon and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Online shopping in India is projected by Morgan Stanley to reach $200bn within the next decade, compared with $30bn now.
“His relentless focus and his aggressive execution changed Flipkart’s fortunes,’’ said Anil Kumar, CEO of RedSeer Consulting in Bengaluru. “He brought the edge that Flipkart was missing.’’
The deal announced Wednesday is the biggest-ever by a foreign buyer in India, and it represents a significant part of Walmart’s overseas expansion efforts. Since entering Mexico in 1991, the world’s largest retailer has closed money-losing operations in Germany and South Korea.
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