India - The Top Retail Destination

 The retail market in India has undergone a major transformation and has witnessed tremendous growth in the last 10 years

  • Indian retail market is projected to reach approximately $2 tn by 2032 from 690 $ Bn in 2021
  • India currently has the 4th Largest retail market in the world
  • Indian retail market recovered from panemic lows and grew 10% yoy from 630 $ Bn to reach 690 $ Bn in 2021

India ranks among the best countries to invest in Retail space. Factors that make India so attractive include the second largest population in the world, a middle-income class of ~158 households, increasing urbanisation, rising household incomes, connected rural consumers and increasing consumer spending.

  • India ranked No. 2 in Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) in 2021.
  • The retail sector in India contributed ~800 Bn to India’s GDP in FY20 and employed 8% of its workforce (35+ Mn). It is expected to create 25 Mn new jobs by 2030
  • Increasing demand for organised retail space has helped create a capacity of ~120 Mn square feet (MSF) in retail space across major Indian cities. Major Indian cities include Delhi (23.7 MSF) and Mumbai (16.7msf)
  • FMCG, apparel & footwear, and consumer electronics are the largest retail segments, constituting 65%, 10% and 9% respectively of the retail market
  • The E-Commerce market is expected to touch $350 Bn in GMV by 2030 
  • India’s digital economy is expected to touch $800 Bn by 2030
  • Online shoppers in India are expected to reach ~500Mn in 2030 from +150Mn in 2020 
  • As of 2021, there were 1.2 Million daily e-commerce transactions 
  • The total value of Digital transactions stood at $ 300 Billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $ 1 Trillion by 2026

Recent policy changes allow 100% FDI under the automatic route for single-brand retail trading, and allow such entities to commence e-commerce operations prior to starting brick & mortar retail, provided they do so within 2 years of the start of online retail.


For further details, please refer FDI Policy

  • %

    Contribution to India's GDP

  • %

    Share in India's employment

  • %

    Growth rate of retail sector over 2021-32

  • %

    Share of Organised retail of total retail market

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India is the 5th largest preferred retail destination globally

With 830 million users, India is currently the 2nd largest internet market 

Growth in income will transform India from a bottom of the pyramid economy to a truly middle-class led one, with consumer spending growing from $1.5 tn today to nearly $6 tn by 2030

Industry Scenario

The Indian e-commerce industry is expected to cross the $350 bn in GMV by 2030.

Indian retail market is estimated to reach $2 tn by 2032, driven by socio-demographic and economic factors such as urbanisation, income growth and rise in nuclear families. On the other hand, the Indian e-commerce industry is expected to cross $350 bn mark by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 23%.

In first half of 2021, e-commerce accounted for nearly a third of several electronic categories, almost half of smartphones sold, and about a fifth of all apparel sales in India. Consumer internet and e-commerce companies raised US$38 billion in 2021, an increase from US$8 billion in 2020, driven by large-size investments across fintech, hyperlocal and e-commerce sectors as the Indian start-up ecosystem continues to mature. India will become the 3rd largest online retail market by 2030, with an estimated annual gross merchandise value of $350 bn. 

The Indian retail market is largely unorganized. However, over the next 3-5 years, share of modern retail (including e-commerce) will increase to 30-35% with share of traditional retail coming down to 65-70%.


  • Growing income

    By 2030 India will add 140 mn middle-income and 21 mn high-income households – Leading to a huge emerging middle class.

  • Increased online spending

    Online shoppers in India are expected to reach ~500mn in 2030 from +150mn in 2020

  • Growth of rural consumption

    Rural per capita consumption will grow 4.3 times by 2030, compared to 3.5 times in urban areas

  • Young millennial households

    By 2030, India will add nearly 90 million new households headed by millennials, who were born into liberalized India.


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Asked Questions

What are the different states that allow Multi Brand Retail Trading (MBRT) and are there any clauses under the rule?

As per para of the FDI Policy, 2017, the following states allow MBRT subject to the conditions mentioned in the policy:
 i.      Andhra Pradesh
 ii.     Assam
 iii.    Delhi
 iv.    Haryana
 v.     Himachal Pradesh
 vi.    Jammu &amp Kashmir
 vii.   Karnataka
 viii.  Maharashtra
 ix.    Manipur
 x.     Rajasthan
 xi.    Uttarakhand
 xii.   Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Union Territories)

For more information, click here.

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How much FDI is allowed under single brand product retail?

100% FDI is allowed under single brand product retail via automatic route.

For more information, click here.

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Are there any legal requirements regarding apparel labelling?

There are legal labelling requirements regarding garments in loose form in retail stores, which can be found below through the Legal Metrology Rules, 2011

  • Name or Description of Product
  • Size: Internationally recognizable size indicators - S, M, L, XL, etc. along with the details in metric notation in terms of cm or m as the case may be. Alternatively, the words ‘TO FIT SIZE’ instead of only ‘Size’ on the label may be used. 
  • Maximum Retail Price
  • Name, full address and customer care number of the manufacturer

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Are there any required approvals and licenses or registrations that need to be procured in order to import apparel or other retail goods?

Approval or licensing requirements depend on the product proposed to be imported to India. Further, in the case of proposed foreign investment, compliance with relevant provisions of the Policy 2017 will have to be ensured. 

Additionally, any person interested in importing goods into India must follow certain rules and guidelines as laid down by The Companies Act 2013, RBI guidelines etc. They must pay GST, Income Tax and other taxes as per state ruling.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issues Import Export (IE) Codes which are required for importing or exporting goods. The issued IE Codes can be used by the entity throughout its existence and don't require any renewal or filing.

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Where can I find regulations in food safety?

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is the regulatory authority and has created a comprehensive policy framework on food safety and standards in India.

For more information, click here.

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