The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) is out and has brought good news for the Indian subcontinent. According to the 16th edition of the index, India has emerged at the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business, shockingly leaving China behind.

The study, which ranks the top 30 developing countries in the world for retail investment worldwide and analyses 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables, explained that India's stupendous performance on the index can be attributed to relaxation of FDI rules introduced by the central government and a consumption boom being witnessed in the South Asian country. The consumption boom is courtesy the country's growing middle class and rapidly increasing consumer spending.

A.T. Kearney's GRDI, titled ‘The Age of Focus’ has been deemed as unique by several industry experts as not only does the index identifies the markets that are most attractive in todays time, but it also offers insights into those having future potential.

Despite China's slow overall economic growth, the country has managed to score the second spot on the list, courtesy its huge market’s size and its continued evolution of retail. Further, the country still leads the pack in other areas, most notably e-commerce.

According to Hana Ben-Shabat, who is a co-author of the A.T. Kearney 's study, the 2017 GRDI is alls about the geopolitical scene and how it affects business. Speaking to Cnbc, Hana said that retailers all around the world are now thinking twice about expansion into places where there is uncertainty about future government actions or high political risk.

In addition to this, the spike in mobile shopping is making retailers think about their global expansion plans, as well as about their role in the value chain. The future could see more retailers using mobile as part of their future expansion plans.

India’s retail sector is set to be growing at a good annual rate of 20 per cent, with total sales surpassing the whopping USD 1 trillion-mark in 2016. The sector is expected to double in size in next four years.

India's top performance is being seen as the vote of confidence in its retail market and vast growth potential.

Modi government has been working on improving India's ease of business rank since coming to power. The government’s support to relax FDI regulations in key areas of the retail sector has contribute immensely to the sector's phenomenal growth.

According to experts, the government's recent effort to boost cashless payments and reform indirect taxation with a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) is expected to lead to a accelerated adoption of formal retail in the country.

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