India's $99 billion man is opening the country's first 7-Eleven

India | Saturday, October 9, 2021

The country’s wealthiest man is bringing 7-Eleven to India, adding the convenience store brand to his vast corporate empire, which includes energy, chemicals, retail, and telecoms.

Reliance Retail, Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate’s commerce arm, announced on Thursday that it will establish India’s first 7-Eleven shops, only days after the fast-food giant lost its local partner.

Reliance claims the first 7-Eleven shop will open in Mumbai on Saturday, only two days away.

“This will be followed by a quick rollout in important neighborhoods and commercial areas,” Reliance Retail said in a statement, with an initial concentration on the Greater Mumbai area. Customers should be able to get beverages and snacks that are tailored to their tastes in the area.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ambani is India’s richest individual, with a net worth of $99.1 billion. Isha Ambani, his daughter and a Reliance Retail director, assisted with the announcement.

7-Eleven made the news only days after pulling out of a partnership with another big local store.

Future Retail announced on Tuesday that it and 7-Eleven had reached an agreement to end an existing collaboration to construct and manage shops across the country.

Future Retail said in a brief statement that it “was not able to achieve the objective of building stores and paying franchisee fees” as needed.

The epidemic has had a “substantial detrimental impact” on the firm’s operations, according to the corporation. Reliance has recently expressed interest in purchasing Future Retail, despite being embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Amazon (AMZN) over the possible transaction.

Ambani has made it clear that he wants to compete with Amazon and Walmart (WMT), which dominate online shopping in India. Reliance is developing JioMart, an e-commerce platform that may someday sell everything from gadgets to clothing to medicines and healthcare.

Isha Ambani said in a statement on Thursday that Reliance Retail was “honored” to partner with 7-Eleven, which she described as “among the most iconic worldwide brands in the convenience retail sector.”

In the same announcement, Joe DePinto, CEO of SEI, the company that owns 7-Eleven, said that the new partnership will help introduce the chain “to millions of Indian consumers.”

“India is the second largest country in the world and has one of the fastest-growing economies,” he said. “It’s an ideal time for the largest convenience retailer in the world to make our entry.”

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