Tesco PLC plans India entry after arm-twisting by politicians, scripts triumph for Congress-led UPA govt

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A Tesco PLC spokesperson did not comment on the reasons behind the company's decision to enter India now. Reuters A Tesco PLC spokesperson did not comment on the reasons behind the company's decision to enter India now. Reuters
SummaryTesco PLC to be first foreign player to set up supermarket chain in India.

a showpiece investment which will only make the government happy because now they can say 'look, someone's come'," said Harminder Sahani, managing director of Wazir Advisors. "It is too small to make any significant difference to the country or the retail sector."

Tesco's investment in India is widely expected to be cleared without much political opposition, thanks to its decision to keep a low profile before, consultants said.

Wal-Mart, by contrast, had blazed the Indian retail trail, earning the ire of political parties and trade unions. An investigation into whether it broke India's foreign investment rules and an internal bribery probe also delayed its plans.

"Wal-Mart decided to be aggressive, but Tesco decided to be discreet and its worked well for them," said Devangshu Dutta who heads retail consultancy Third Eyesight. "But whether they will be able to make use of the first-mover advantage and eventually lead the race remains to be seen."

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