Confident that things will work out in India: Wal-Mart CEO

Wal-Mart chief executive officer Mike Duke has said he will be "patient" and is confident that things will get worked out in India for the company, amid the political uproar in India over opening of the multi-brand retail sector as well as lobbying efforts by the retail major.

"I still believe that in India things will get worked out. I am confident that (India) is a country that has such an opportunity to help both the farmers, those that are producing products for consumers all the way through the supply chain to the consumer," Duke said at a Council on Foreign Relations event organised here yesterday on 'The Responsibility to Lead'.

He was responding to a question on how India fits into the international priority markets for Wal-Mart given the country's mixed response to opening of its retail sector. The Wal-Mart chief said having travelled to India a number of times, he "really feels for the people of India because the people of India are missing on the opportunity right now because of the inefficiencies of the supply chain and so many of the challenges. "But I am patient and I believe that over time the process will get worked out in India. That we can help people live a better life in India also," he added.

Duke said in the next 10-50 years, the emerging middle class in countries like India, China and Latin America will be the "real opportunity for Wal-Mart from a business standpoint".

"These big emerging markets where there are a lot of people, where there will be an emerging consumer over the next decade will be our greatest priority," he said. Duke's appearance at the New York event was met with protests over its labour practises and wages.

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