Amritsar, India (BBN)- The U.S.-based retail giant Wal-Mart opened its first joint venture outlet in Amritsar on Saturday aiming to expand their operation through opening 15 more stores within the next three years.

Wal-Mart has teamed up with Bharti Enterprises, parent of the country’s biggest mobile firm Bharti Airtel, in a wholesale joint venture under the brand name of Best Price Modern Wholesale.

Bharti Enterprises Vice Chairman and Managing Director Rajan Bharti Mittal told reporters that they have planned to open 15 more stores in the next three years with around US$ 100 million investment.

“We’ve already tied up with 30,000 retailers and 8,000 suppliers and expect more to join us,” said Mr. Mittal said, adding that the Amritsar store, spread over about 10,000 square feet, will provide 200 direct and 500 indirect jobs.

Earlier, the two companies planned to open the store May 26, 2009 but this had to be deferred on account of the violence that erupted in Punjab after the killing of a spiritual leader in Austria.

BBB/SS/SI/AD-31May09-2:52 am (BST)