Wal-Mart has unveiled its long-awaited plans to enter India as part of a joint venture with Indian telecoms company Bharti Enterprises.

The venture, Bharti Wal-Mart, was first announced in December last year but Wal-Mart said yesterday that up to 15 stores between 50,000 sq ft and 100,000 sq ft would open late next year or in early 2009 selling groceries, clothing, stationery and durable goods.

“We will help drive efficiencies and work towards betterment of India's farmers, small manufacturers and retailers, in line with our global vision of saving people money so they can live together,” said Wal-Mart vice-chairman Mike Duke.