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Wal-Mart to Outsource more IT Work to India

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Global retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said yesterday it plans to increase technology activities in India, as it seeks to expand its remote sourcing model.

The retailer is already hoping to break into the Indian retail market, via a joint venture with India's Bharti Enterprises for a wholesale cash-and-carry operation.

"As we deepen our relationship with India, it only made sense that we take advantage of the 24-hour development cycle that India offers," Wal-Mart vice chairman Michael Duke said in a statement.

India is just one of several countries that Wal-Mart is targeting as part of its remote sourcing model for IT activities. The retailer has sourced some IT applications from a couple of Indian technology firms in the past year, and will now expand these operations to cover more firms to augment its work in the United States, a spokesman told Reuters.

The Bharti venture is expected to open 10 to 15 wholesale cash-and-carry facilities and employ approximately 5,000 people over the next seven years. A typical facility will be between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet and sell a range of produce, groceries and staples, footwear, clothing, and consumer durables to retailers.

In other global Wal-Mart news, the company's U.K. subsidiary, Asda Group Ltd., yesterday unveiled a $776 million expansion that will create more than 9,000 jobs, open up to 22 stores, and build 12 extensions, totaling 800,000 square feet, this year.
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