Carrefour, which is the world's second largest retailer, has been trying to break into India's massive retail sector for years and hopes the wholesale outlet in New Delhi will lead to a string of hypermarkets there.
We are starting our cash and carry business in India as the government allows 100 per cent foreign investment in this segment," Jean Noel Bironneau, general manager of Carrefour India, said on Tuesday.
"So far FDI [foreign direct investment] is not relaxed [enough] for us to launch a hypermarket," he said. "The market in India is booming but we have to be cautious and have decided to start with our cash and carry business first."
Bironneau said the first wholesale store will 5,500 square metres and will open this year.
India's foreign investment rules allow no overseas chains in the retail sector, except for single-brand outlets such as Nokia or Reebok.
The Delhi shop will source 90 per cent of its products from within the country and employ 300 people, Bironneau said.