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Walmart and Flipkart celebrate Vriddhi graduates: 2,500 MSMEs on a path to enhancing their domestic and export capabilities

National: Walmart and Flipkart today hosted a virtual Graduation Day event for the first group of graduating micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) under the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program (Walmart Vriddhi). Over 2,500 MSMEs from across India received certificates in the presence of Shri Sidharth Nath Singh, Hon’ble Minister of MSME, Investment and Export, Textile, Khadi & Gram Udyog, Government of Uttar Pradesh, along with Walmart and Flipkart leadership. The occasion recognized MSMEs who have partnered with Walmart and Flipkart to complete the first phase of the Vriddhi program. Through this training, graduating entrepreneurs have been empowered with modern business management frameworks that can help them modernize and meet their growth ambitions by embracing India’s digital retail revolution.

The first phase is part of Walmart Vriddhi, a comprehensive growth and learning platform comprising of training and in-depth expert support.  The different phases in the program give MSMEs access to advanced business tools and strategies, as well as one-on-one expert consultation, to help them unlock their entrepreneurial capacity, modernize their business, and thrive. Graduating entrepreneurs are already experiencing growth, with many expanding their digital capabilities and selling across India through the Flipkart marketplace. The program has also supported MSMEs to grow their peer networks. The Walmart Vriddhi program is delivered by program partner Swasti.

On the occasion, Shri Sidharth Nath Singh, Hon’ble Minister of MSME, Investment and Export, Textile, Khadi & Gram Udyog, Government of Uttar Pradesh, said, “I congratulate all businesses that are augmenting their learning in their quest to embrace new markets and growth despite multiple challenges. I would encourage more MSMEs to take advantage of programs such as Walmart Vriddhi to enhance their business capabilities, become self-reliant and further strengthen India's position as an export hub. Empowering small businesses to stretch their wings is a key priority for the Government. To promote exports further, we are setting up overseas trade promotion and facilitation centers in all 75 districts of the state of Uttar Pradesh."

Leigh Hopkins, Executive Vice President, International Strategy, Development and Asia Region, Walmart International, said, “Walmart is proud to announce the graduation of over 2,500 MSMEs of the Walmart Vriddhi program today. We are delighted to be able to support small business owners’ growth ambitions with this program. Walmart has an ongoing commitment of tripling exports from India by 2027 to $10 billion annually, and we look forward to supporting more small businesses in their efforts by providing potential access to online and offline markets in India and globally.”

Many local home-grown brands have already benefited from training from the Vriddhi program.

·        Healthy Fibres has started selling on the Flipkart marketplace to complement its physical channels and reach a national market. It plans to open a network of experience stores pan-India and is ambitious to also reach overseas markets in the future.

·        Scraft Products leveraged the skills and contacts it had built through Walmart Vriddhi to create new product lines when the pandemic disrupted its business. It is now working towards achieving at least 25% of its pre-COVID sales from exports.

·        Jutex India has joined the Flipkart marketplace and been empowered to better leverage market dynamics and enhance its performance, despite challenging circumstances.

·        Plus Creations, which manufactures more sustainable food packing, already sells in India and abroad. It is now using eCommerce to increase its footprint across India, and is exploring new international markets.

Walmart and Flipkart expect many more entrepreneurs to graduate from the Vriddhi program over the next few months. Small businesses are the backbone of India’s economy and Walmart and Flipkart look forward to partnering with them and providing access to online and offline markets in India and around the world.

Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head, Flipkart Wholesale, said, " We are truly excited to see the graduating entrepreneurs who are digital-ready and getting ready to be part of India’s continuing economic growth story. We are proud that there are already around 3.75 lakh Indian sellers on the Flipkart marketplace today, a majority of which are MSMEs. Through additional support such as the Flipkart Samarth program, we are also enhancing access to markets for artisans, weavers, and other small businesses. Digital upskilling helps MSMEs boost their businesses, weather industry challenges and strengthen the e-commerce ecosystem."

As part of continuing efforts to support small businesses, Walmart and Flipkart recently announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Haryana, and the Government of Tamil Nadu respectively through the Walmart Vriddhi program to enhance the growth and development of MSMEs in those states.

Walmart Vriddhi was launched in 2019, to empower 50,000 MSMEs across India, over five years. Vriddhi e-Institutes have since been launched in Panipat, Agra, and are moving to open much more, to provide a digitally enhanced learning experience with personalized feedback and one-on-one advisory sessions. MSMEs enrolled in the program have benefitted from actionable advice through Vriddhi Cares, a tailored program to help them navigate the impact of COVID-19 on their workforce and business.

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