India is part of Wal-Mart's rapid global expansion under Mike Duke, the former head of the company's international division who in February became CEO. In his previous job, he recruited native-born managers in international markets who understood local customs. Mr. Jain, for example, had worked more than 20 years here for Unilever PLC and Whirlpool Corp. Wal-Mart's 3,400 international stores generate close to one quarter of the company's revenue.
The arrival of big-box wholesalers and retailers in India was a major political issue a couple of years ago, with widespread protests from small merchants. But as the Indian economy has slowed, the furor has eased. Shoppers became accustom to larger stores from local retailers such as Pantaloon Retail India Ltd.
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