Dubai-based retailer the Landmark Group is mulling a joint venture with French supermarket chain Auchan in India.
The company, which already operates Dutch retail chain Spar in the sub-continent, said talks were still in the early stages.
“[The deal] is very preliminary; there is a long way to go, we have only just started talking to them,” said Vipen Sethi, CEO of Landmark.
The deal was unlikely to happen soon, he said, given the complexities of working in India.
“It won’t be this year. It is going to take time because India is a very complicated country.”
Media reports say a deal will most likely depend on whether India reviews its controversial proposal to allow foreign companies to operate in the multi-brand segment.
In December 2011, the government was forced to shelve its plans to open up the $450bn market amid a huge political backlash.
Opposition parties said the new rules could be extremely harmful to India, putting millions of small shops out of business and creating significant job losses across the region.
French international retail group Auchan is a multinational corporation based in Croix, and competes with European giants such as Carrefour and Casino.
Should Landmark secure a deal with Auchan in India, it would significantly boost the retailer’s presence in the country.