Bihar retailers’ next destination

Friday, 14 January 2011

For the first time since the retail revolution began in the country over 10 years ago, Bihar is on the lips of every retail major in the country. Reliance Retail for one is keen on opening stores in Bihar in 2011-12. The Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has also drawn up big expansion plans. Patna will have a Big Bazaar store by February, which will be followed by at least two more Big Bazaars and a Pantaloon store. There may be Big Bazaar outlets in Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur as well.

Likewise Spencer’s Retail is also interested in Bihar as are fast food outlets and coffee chains like Pizza Hut, KFC and Café Coffee Day. Bihar’s 11 per cent GDP growth is second only to Gujarat’s. More than 6,800 km of roads have been re-laid and 1,600 bridges and culverts constructed in the last four years. Over the past few years, the scenario in the east has changed dramatically. And Bihar is the biggest and the brightest story that has emerged. Journey time in India’s 12th largest state, sprawling over 94,163 sq km, has been cut by half today in many places. Most of Bihar’s infamous dons are behind bars. Gun-toting strongmen are no longer a common sight on the streets of Bihar. Also malls, shops and private educational institutions are coming up. So are mobile service providers and banking firms. It’s boom time for real estate with apartment buildings coming up all around. This economic growth has happened without any worthwhile contribution from the manufacturing sector. The state’s economy is growing because of a boom in agriculture and services sectors.

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