Reliance Industries, the retail arm of Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani is set to open 7-Eleven Inc.'s convenience stores in India, with the first store to be set in Mumbai on Saturday, October 9.
The development will add to Ambani's burgeoning retail empire in the only billion-people-plus consumer market globally that's open to foreign firms, NDTV reported.
Reliance Retail Ltd. secured the pact 7-Eleven Inc (SEI) just days after rival supermarket operator Future Retail Ltd. ended its deal with one of the world's biggest convenience US chains.
The 2019 agreement with Future Group was terminated earlier in October after the firm failed to meet store opening targets and payment of franchise fees.
As per their statement, Reliance Retail said that there would be a rapid rollout of such stores in crucial neighbourhoods across Greater Mumbai, starting with India's financial capital. However, the company did not provide any financial details.
The company said that the store is expected to be a vital contributor to help in employing the local people and build the eco-system for convenient foods.
"India is the second-largest nation in the world and has one of the fastest-growing economies," 7-Eleven's President and Chief Executive Officer Joe DePinto said in the statement.
"It's a good time for the world's largest convenience retailer to make an entry into India," he added.
Good Fit To Harness Reliance's Digital Reach
According to Saloni Nangia, president at retail consultancy Technopak Advisors Pvt, the deal between the two companies is a "good fit" to harness Reliance's digital reach and provide Ambani a "last-mile connectivity to the consumer.
"The landscape is changing with 'kiranas' also becoming digitally sound and that's going to be the largest growing segment in the country," Nangia said.
According to BBC, Reliance Retail Ventures has a turnover of $21bn (£15.5bn) and is the largest and the most profitable retailer in the country. Ambani, on the other hand, has an estimated net worth of $99bn.