Radhakishan Damani eyes fivefold growth in a market Mukesh Ambani wants to dominate


Indian billionaire Radhakishan Damani’s discount supermarket chain, DMart, plans to boost its store count fivefold as it seeks to grow market share and hold its own against aggressive expansion from the likes of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance 

Retail Ltd NSE 0.35 %.

Avenue Supermarts NSE 0.71 % Ltd., which currently runs the fourth-largest number of convenience stores in India, could scale up the chain known for its knockdown prices on everything from lentils to laundry powder to 1,500 supermarkets from 284, Chief Executive Officer Neville Noronha said in an interview. He declined to give a timeline or estimate the investment needed.

“Large players can happily operate without worrying about each  other,” Noronha said. “There’s no need to worry about that for another 20 years — the headroom for growth is awesome.”

The company opened its highest-ever 50 stores in the year through March, its most ever, and wants to tap India’s teeming middle-class, which according to some researchers could account for as much as half of country’s almost 1.4 billion population. Amid rising inflation, this segment is also looking hard for bargain deals – something DMart is known for. Besides adding stores, DMart is also attempting to scale up its unprofitable e-commerce business.

Damani, the 68-year-old self-made billionaire and founder of DMart who steered his supermarket empire to a blockbuster listing in 2017. The stock has jumped 1,370% since its listing, giving Damani a net worth of $22.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.


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