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India’s richest man brings 7-Eleven to the country

October 7, 2021, 3:58 PM UTC

An Indian multi-billionaire is bringing 7-Eleven to his country—and he’s not wasting any time in doing so.

Reliance Industries CEO Mukesh Ambani, who has a net worth of $99.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has announced plans to bring the convenience store chain to the country after a previous franchise deal fell through.

The first store is set to open in Mumbai two days from now, covering two stories and 1,700 square feet.

The conglomerate’s Reliance Retail subsidary steps in for rival Future Retail, which recently ended a two-year agreement with 7-Eleven. Reliance says it plans to open several more locations around cash-rich Mumbai and the rest of the country. (Reliance Industries ranks No. 155 on the 2021 Fortune Global 500.)

“India is the second-largest country in the world and has one of the fastest-growing economies,” said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven’s president and CEO, in a statement. “It’s an ideal time for the largest convenience retailer in the world to make our entry into India.”

Given India’s population of 1.4 billion people, the country is seen as an area of huge potential growth for both the convenience store and Reliance Retail.

7-Eleven initially had planned to open its first India location in 2019, but delays, followed by the pandemic, prevented that. India marks the 18th country where 7-Eleven will operate. The chain has nearly 4,000 stores in the U.S. alone and over 77,000 globally.

Grocery is a $380 billion industry in India, according to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service. Most of that goes to smaller stores, but the market for corporate chains is growing quickly.

India has already seen a number of large U.S. companies invest in the country in recent years. Walmart in 2018 spent $16 billion to buy Flipkart Online Services Pvt. And Amazon has invested in offline retailers, such as Shopper’s Stop.

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