Saumya Roy and Sagar Malviya

The Tata group is in talks with Woolworths Ltd, an Australian retail company, to set up supermarkets and hypermarkets in an attempt to widen its own retail business and enter a segment that accounts for 60-65 percent of India's $350 billion (Rs14 trillion) retail market, according to industry body Retailers Association of India (RAI).

One of the group's company, Infiniti Retail Ltd, recently launched the Croma chain of consumer electronics stores in association with Woolworths, which is a technical partner in the venture. (Woolworth has no equity stake in Infiniti.)

"We will enter the food and grocery retail business," said R.K. Krishna Kumar, a director on the board of Tata Sons Ltd, the principal holding company of the group. "We are examining this and Woolworths will most likely be our partner."

According to people familiar with the development, a team from Woolworths was in India last month to study the retail market. The Tatas and Woolworths, these people said, are looking to open stores in the metros and will follow that up with stores in other cities.
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