The Walmart-Flipkart deal may become a blessing in disguise as almost hundreds of current and former employees of Indian e-commerce giant are set to turn into dollar millionaires overnight.
Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon played down not being able to meet either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any senior minister after announcing the world's biggest e-commerce deal, saying he has had meetings with officials in the past and would have them in future as well.
Walmart's deal to acquire Indian online giant Flipkart will open up new opportunities for Indian start-ups, according to analysts.
Tencent Holdings Ltd, Tiger Global Management and Microsoft Corp will also continue to remain shareholders in Flipkart, Walmart said without divulging their stake.
But some traders in India are opposed to the deal, fearing its effect on competition. McMillon has led Walmart's efforts to boost global business.
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"This investment is of enormous importance for India and will help fuel our ambition to deepen our connection with buyers and sellers and to create the next wave of retail in India", said Binny Bansal, Flipkart's Co-Founder and group Chief Executive Officer. Walmart, with a vast experience in the U.S. market, will look to revolutionise the Indian retail with low prices and a vast variety of consumer goods. "Plans are on track", Walmart India President and CEO Krish Iyer said at a select media roundtable. "These companies have been directly or indirectly participating in pricing and discounting, which is against the policy that seeks to create a level playing field", Retailers Association of India alleged.
"A company of the sheer scale and value of Flipkart was almost unimaginable back in 2008", the blog said. The Walmart deal boosted ESOPs of Flipkart to a total of $2 billion. Group CEO Masayoshi Son on Wednesday announced SoftBank will sell its 20% in Flipkart for $4billion, making a profit of 1.5 times on the $2.5 it invested in the company.
The combination with Walmart could be controversial, with concerns about how a deal might affect India's smaller retailers.
Walmart's investment in Flipkart would benefit India by providing "quality, affordable goods for customers while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers and women entrepreneurs", he said.
Accel: Accel is keeping some of its shares in Flipkart, but the firm will notch one of its biggest exits after almost a decade of sitting tight. "This investment aligns with our strategy and our goal is to contribute to India's success story, as we grow our business".
Soni, who has no direct knowledge of a deal, speculates that Alphabet's would be less directly related to e-commerce, and more tied to the size of the market and keeping ahead of Amazon, which was also reportedly interested buying Flipkart. Their paths crossed at Amazon too, where both worked for this Jeff Bezos led company.