While Walmart is not the only company that will benefit from the proposed opening up of the multibrand retail segment to foreign investment (via FDI), just a mention of Walmart's name is enough to evoke varied reactions from across various segments of the society.
(Read The Explainer: Foreign Direct Investment)
Currently, 100% FDI is allowed in wholesale cash-and-carry while 51% FDI is allowed in single brand retail. Recently, the government of India allowed 51% FDI in multibrand retail, paving the way for entry of global giants like Walmart, Tesco, and Carrefour. However, the policy decision has been suspended by the government following a hue and cry from the opposition parties.
Protests against Walmart are not a India-specific feature; Walmart and its ilk have faced them almost in every market they have entered. So what is it about the Behemoth of Bentonville that evokes such fears?
Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Currently, it is the world's largest company, with a revenue of U.S.$421 billion (nearly 25% of India's GDP!) and the world's largest private sector employer (with 21 lakh employees).
Here is an interesting infographic on Walmart, the largest departmental chain store in the world. I found it at Frugaldad.