There have been a lot of discussions and controversies regarding FDI in multi-brand retail in the country. With the issue still stuck and a near solution far from being in sight, Indian consumers have responded with their opinions on the issue.
In a recent survey conducted by Retailing360, all 100% respondents felt that the domestic multi-brand retailers are not doing enough to promote smaller domestic brands in the country.
According to Prof A Ramaswamy Iyengar, faculty (Retail) at Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, "The multi-brand retailers in India have shown a fascination for international brands traditionally because of the massive brand value of these companies. However, I see the scenario changing gradually."
Even though most experts feel that FDI is necessary in order to boost the economic growth of the country, the real scenario has been reflective of something different. It has often been seen that well-known multi-brand retailers like Big Bazaar, Spencer’s Retail, Hyper City, D-Mart and Reliance Retail have preferred foreign brands to their local counterparts. Consumers on their parts have also been attracted to foreign brands like Levis, GAS and Luis Vuitton. Local companies, on the other hand, have not had the chance to enjoy such an illustrated market.
Priyadarshini T, a Chennai resident feels, “Attraction towards foreign brands is quite natural for consumers looking for brand name and not necessarily towards money. With the emergence of a strong and young middle class, people today are no longer scared of spending money and that is why the demand for foreign brands has gone up.”
However, importance also needs to be given to local players as they are the ones who form the backbone of the country. Most of the domestic brands are companies with limited resources operating at the end of a long chain process. Thus, a loss for them would also mean a loss for players in the farming field. The government therefore should look to ensure a simultaneous growth both internationally as well as domestically.