Walmart begins to wind up physical presence in India, fires third of its executives

Walmart Inc. has fired a third of its top executives as it is planning to wind up its physical presence in India.

The world’s largest retailer plans to halt new-store expansion in India and will continue to cut staff, said the Economic Times, reported.

The executives already sacked include vice presidents across sourcing, agri-business and fast-moving consumer goods, and the real estate team responsible for finding new store locations has been disbanded, the report said.

The company sees no future in its physical operations in the country and is likely to sell it or merge it with Flipkart, the e-commerce platform it bought for $16 billion in 2018.

The exit comes follows after a decade of struggle in India, whose government repeatedly holded big world brands in order to protect local stores. Rules designed to shield the 12 million stores from foreign competition has hamstrung Walmart and others, like Amazon Inc. Political pressure is now growing for stricter regulation of foreign e-commerce platforms.

Walmart India is still to comment on the story.