Walmart today launched a new Vriddhi e-Institute in Agra to provide small businesses in Uttar Pradesh access to skills and competencies to grow in a post-pandemic environment through online and offline channels such as Flipkart’s marketplace and Walmart’s international supply chain.
With the new e-Institute, Walmart is expanding its Vriddhi Supplier Development Program towards empowering 50,000 MSMEs across India for growth. The program provides MSMEs with specific training to leverage modern commerce and get ready for opportunities in Flipkart’s eCommerce marketplace, the supply chain of Flipkart Wholesale and Walmart’s global sourcing operations, as well as the open marketplace.
The Vriddhi e-Institute in Agra will partner with MSMEs from Uttar Pradesh through interactive learning and advanced competency-based training, with personalized feedback and advice. The curriculum is tailored for the unique challenges and opportunities of local businesses and is offered in Hindi and English. In particular, the e-Institute will focus on empowering skilled artisans and entrepreneurs to expand markets for Agra’s prominent footwear manufacturing and stone carving sectors.
Vriddhi works with MSME entrepreneurs wherever they are in their business journey. Uttar Pradesh-based businesses can join the Vriddhi training program to pursue opportunities to sell on Flipkart’s online consumer marketplace and through the nationwide Flipkart Wholesale ecosystem. As Walmart triples its exports from India to $10 billion annually by 2027, businesses with export ambitions can learn how to qualify as a Walmart Global Sourcing supplier, taking “Make in India” products to the world.
Sidharth Nath Singh, Cabinet Minister for MSME, Investment & Export, Textile, NRI, Khadi and Gram Udyog, Government of Uttar Pradesh, said: “We welcome Walmart’s initiative to expand the Vriddhi program to Agra and Uttar Pradesh. MSMEs from our state are recognized for their skilled craftsmanship, and for the variety of high-quality goods they offer in India and internationally. This program will not only boost the Make-in-India effort, it will also provide further impetus to our ODOP (One District One Product) program and MSMEs in growing their business aspirations and reach, including export-readiness, through digital pathways.”
The first Vriddhi e-Institute, opened in Haryana in October 2020, serves MSMEs from the Panipat-Sonipat-Kundli region. Entrepreneurs there are now working through the multi-level training program, with some already onboarded to Flipkart to expand their digital capabilities and sell across India via Flipkart marketplace.
Leigh Hopkins, Executive Vice President, International Strategy, Development and Asia Region, Walmart International, said: “We’ve had encouraging results from our first e-Institute and strong interest from MSMEs in Uttar Pradesh. Walmart and Flipkart are helping artisans and entrepreneurs augment their Indian ingenuity with merchandising and logistics expertise and access to eCommerce customers across India and abroad. Growing MSME businesses creates employment opportunities in local communities and puts them at the heart of Make in India and Digital India programs.”
Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head, Flipkart Wholesale, said: “Flipkart is focused on enabling businesses to prosper by helping them sell their products across India. Through Walmart Vriddhi we will now enhance those efforts, as MSMEs and artisans get access to a world-class training that can empower them to meet their aspirations.”
Developed by Walmart and Flipkart in partnership with Vriddhi knowledge manager Swasti, the Vriddhi training program is designed for MSMEs operating in a post-pandemic world of mobile-first digital commerce. It includes training and advice on key aspects of business management, commercial growth, customer-centric services, manufacturing best practices, responsible sourcing and more. Interactive virtual training experiences, one-on-one advisory sessions and other resources are accessed through a mobile app available on iOS and Android, in Hindi and English.
Vriddhi will accelerate the rollout of e-Institutes to other cities in India this year, providing tailored training, mentoring and ecosystem support to help local MSMEs prepare for growth as part of the supply chains of Flipkart and Walmart or other channels.
At the same time, Flipkart and Walmart will continue to partner with Indian MSMEs, both through the Flipkart marketplace and Flipkart Wholesale ecosystem and through Walmart’s global sourcing operations. Flipkart also supports artisans and weavers through its Samarth program, with 750,000 skilled craftspeople now selling authentic arts and crafts online to a customer base of more than 300 million people.