Bharat Mart in the UAE: A New Opportunity for Exporters

February 1, 2024by Aparna T Nambissan0

Bharat Mart, India’s proposed warehousing facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, is expected to be functional by 2025. It allows Indian exporters to showcase their products under one roof. Now they can serve UAE markets, GCC countries, and global markets.

In the ever-evolving landscape of global retail, the introduction of Bharat Mart in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) marks a significant milestone. This venture not only represents a fusion of cultures but also heralds a new era in retail shopping, blending the best of Indian products with the dynamic market of the UAE. This article delves into the inception, vision, and potential impact of Bharat Mart in the UAE, offering insights into why this launch is more than just opening a new shopping destination.

 

The Genesis of Bharat Mart

Bharat Mart’s journey began with a simple yet powerful idea: to bring the richness of Indian goods and services to the diverse and cosmopolitan population of the UAE. The concept was born out of a recognition of the strong cultural and economic ties between India and the UAE. With a large Indian expatriate community in the UAE and a growing interest in Indian products among locals and other nationalities, the time was ripe for a retail revolution.

The founders of Bharat Mart, a group of visionary entrepreneurs and business leaders, understood the gap in the market. While there were individual stores and small chains offering Indian products, there was no unified retail brand that could cater to the broader market with a diverse range of high-quality products at competitive prices.

The Vision and Offering of Bharat Mart

Bharat Mart is more than just a supermarket or a retail store; it’s a cultural bridge. The store offers an extensive range of products, including groceries, apparel, home decor, and beauty products, sourced directly from India’s finest manufacturers and artisans. The emphasis is on authenticity, quality, and affordability, ensuring that customers get a genuine taste of India in the heart of the UAE.

One of the unique aspects of Bharat Mart is its commitment to showcasing the diversity of India. From the spices of Kerala to the textiles of Gujarat, from the teas of Assam to the handicrafts of Rajasthan, the store is a microcosm of India’s rich cultural tapestry. This diversity not only caters to the Indian diaspora longing for a slice of home but also introduces other residents and tourists in the UAE to the wonders of Indian products.

Technological Integration and Customer Experience

In line with the UAE’s vision of embracing technology, Bharat Mart incorporates cutting-edge retail technology to enhance customer experience. This includes seamless digital payment systems, virtual reality zones for product trials, and an AI-powered personal shopping assistant. The store also offers an online shopping platform with an intuitive user interface, ensuring a smooth and efficient e-commerce experience for those who prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes.

The physical layout of the store is designed to provide an immersive experience. The décor is infused with elements of Indian art and architecture, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Interactive zones, cooking demonstrations, and cultural events are regular features, making shopping at Bharat Mart an experience rather than a chore.

Economic and Cultural Impact

The launch of Bharat Mart in the UAE is significant from an economic perspective. It not only creates job opportunities for both locals and expatriates but also strengthens trade ties between India and the UAE. By providing a platform for Indian products, Bharat Mart supports small and medium-sized enterprises in India, giving them access to a lucrative international market.

Culturally, Bharat Mart serves as a beacon of India’s rich heritage in the UAE. It becomes a place of convergence for people of different nationalities to explore and appreciate the diversity of Indian culture. For the Indian community in the UAE, it’s a touchpoint with their roots, helping them stay connected with their traditions and customs.

Challenges and the Road Ahead

While Bharat Mart is poised for success, it faces its share of challenges. Among the key challenges are navigating the competitive retail landscape of the UAE, adapting to local tastes and preferences, and consistently maintaining product quality and supply chain efficiency. Moreover, as a new player in the market, establishing brand recognition and customer loyalty will be crucial.

The road ahead for Bharat Mart involves expanding its presence across the UAE and potentially in other Gulf countries. The brand aims to become synonymous with quality Indian products and a hub for cultural exchange. Continued innovation in product offerings and shopping experiences will be pivotal in achieving these goals.

Benefits for Indian Exporters

Bharat Mart gives improved market access to Indian Exporters who intend to invest, market, and trade the above economic-cultural-technological products within the UAE market. Now they can serve local UAE markets, GCC countries, and global markets. They can commence their operations by investing in the UAE market or by incorporating their business presence in the UAE with affordable dual licensing packages. Bharat Mart is promoted by Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the ideal location strategically located in Dubai’s premier trade hub. JAFZA is one of the world’s largest re-export markets, offering a one-of-a-kind multimodal environment enabling efficient trade flows. Bharat Mart benefits from the established business, trade, and multimodal logistic ecosystem of the region.

Further, at JAFZA, they give Indian Exporters incentives and conducive real estate solutions by integrated on-site, offering warehouses, showrooms, trade facilitation services, etc. Financing solutions are also available on competitive terms. At JAFZA, there are lower shipping costs and time-improved cargo consolidation through the easy availability of empty containers. There is less shuttling of cargo and therefore, a reduction in cargo damage due to multiple handling.

The introduction of Bharat Mart in the UAE is a landmark event, heralding a new chapter in the retail sector. It’s a testament to the growing global appreciation for Indian products and the strengthening ties between India and the UAE. As Bharat Mart embarks on its journey, it holds the promise of enriching the shopping landscape in the UAE, offering a unique blend of commerce and culture that resonates with a diverse audience. This venture can support India to double Exports and increase market shares in the target market by 2030. This venture is not just a business endeavor; it’s a cultural mission, bringing a piece of India to the heart of the UAE and knitting closer the bonds between these two vibrant nations.

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About ATB Legal

ATB Legal is a full-service legal consultancy in the UAE providing services in dispute resolution (DIFC Courts, ADGM Courts, mainland litigation management and Arbitrations), corporate and commercial matters, IP, business set up and UAE taxation. We also have a personal law department providing advice on marriage, divorce and wills & estate planning for expats. Please feel free to reach out to us at office@atblegal.com for a non-obligatory initial consultation.

by Aparna T Nambissan

Aparna is a legal consultant at ATB legal. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Commerce from Karnataka State Law University. She is enrolled with the Bar Council of Karnataka.

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