With an epic battle of billionaires for supremacy in one of the world’s most prolific markets and a pandemic-propelled surge in online shopping in the background, India’s nearly trillion-dollar retail market is hoping to touch 85 per cent of the pre-COVID business in the first half of the new year.
In a year when the COVID-19 carnage ripped apart the retail business, circa 2020 will best go down for the unravelling of the war between Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man, and richest Indian Mukesh Ambani for pre-eminence in the booming market that is estimated to reach USD 1.3 trillion by 2025.
It all started with Ambani’s Reliance Industries agreeing in August to buy assets of the nation’s second-largest retailer for Rs 24,713 crore, just a year after Bezos’ Amazon purchased an indirect stake in the indebted Future Retail. Amazon opposed the deal, claiming it violates Future Group’s investment agreement with it.
Since then, the story has been playing out in Singapore and Indian courts, and the outcome may shape India’s retail landscape for years to come.
Amazon’s success will slow Reliance’s plans to expand its e-commerce