Walmart India sacks 56 executive employees for reorganizing exercise

Krish Iyer added that Walmart, which first entered India in 2007, has been investing heavily in technology in countries along with building more stores

New Delhi: Walmart India is letting go of 56 of its employees as part of a reorganization exercise. The Walmart company that operates 28 cash-and-carry stores here will lay off senior and mid-level employees at its corporate office in Gurgaon as it intensifies focus on serving customers through an omnichannel model.

“We are looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which necessitates us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way. These reviews, we have let go of 56 of our associates across levels at the corporate office,” Krish Iyer, president, and CEO, Walmart India said in a comment on Monday. “All of the 56 affected associates–eight in the senior management and forty-eight in the middle-to-lower management have been offered enhanced many benefits and outplacement services to support their transition.”

Krish Iyer added that Walmart, which first entered India in 2007, has been investing heavily in technology in countries along with building more stores.

“Recently we have made significant investments to serve our members better and will continue to do so. This includes investments in our brick and mortar stores as well as e-commerce. Our members are increasingly becoming omnichannel shoppers. Thus we are investing heavily in technology and have a healthy pipeline of Best Price stores,” Iyer said.

On Monday the layoffs were first reported by The Economic Times newspaper.

The Exit includes senior executives at the retailer’s sourcing, agri-business and the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) divisions at its head office in Gurgoan, the Economic Times report said. On Friday the announcements were made at a town hall.

However, Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer dismissed the reports of another round of layoffs, calling it “baseless and incorrect”.

Slashing of jobs at Walmart’s brick and mortar business come after it bought a majority stake in e-commerce retailer Flipkart in 2018 in an estimated $16 billion deal, highlighting the retailer’s plans to cement its position in the nation’s online retail market where it now competes fiercely with rival Amazon.

Walmart remains promises to grow its business-to-business cash and carry business in India, Iyer said.

The company opened six new Best Price Modern Wholesale stores, one fulfillment center, with sales growing 22% in 2019, Walmart added in the comment.

Walmart’s struggles to scale business in India follow rigorous foreign direct investment policies in the country that govern the entry of multi-brand retailers in India.

On the other hand, Foreign cash and carry or wholesale businesses are allowed to wholly own and operate such stores in India. Hence, Walmart invested in B2B retail in the nation after the retailer faced resistance in setting up its signature front-end stores here as Indian law restricts the entry of foreign multi-brand stores in order to protect the interests of the income of small shopkeepers that form the backbone of the nation’s retail trade.
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