Granted, it’s an old book, but after recent public gaffes, maybe Walmart should consider passing out Dale Carnegie’s classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” at the next Saturday morning in Bentonville.
Whether Walmart lobbied Indian officials to open the Indian retail market to foreign direct investment (FDI) is a long disputed question. In India, lobbying is illegal and akin to bribery. Concerns that Walmart lobbied in India led the government to appoint a former Justice to investigate Walmart’s activities.
Most of you don’t know who he is, so here’s a hint: George Clooney.
Walmart has publicly touted the opportunity the Indian retail market presents for almost 10 years. In 2005, then-International CEO John Menzer (remember him?) described India as “a huge organic growth opportunity.” And of course, Mike Duke has gone so far as to say that “India is very important to Walmart and that we keep coming back and why we pay a great deal of attention to India.” Most thought that the Government of India’s decision to open multi-brand retail to foreign direct investment in September 2012 meant that Walmart would soon realize its Indian dream.