The fear that kirana stores across the country (India) will wilt under the onslaught of big-bang retailers such as Wal-Mart has long stood in the way of foreign direct investment coming into retail. But some believe the fear is unfounded.
“It is not easy to compete to with the kirana stores. Just because you are a big guy with a lot of money, it doesn’t mean that you can compete,” says Rajiv Lal, Stanley Roth Senior Professor of Retailing at Harvard Business School where he supervises the retailing curriculum as well.
“On the consumer side, kirana stores can deliver services. Somebody calls them and asks ‘can you deliver six eggs?’ and the guy runs and delivers six eggs. That’s not something the big established firms can provide,” Lal toldDNA in an interview recently.