The program has enabled the MSMEs to expand their domestic capabilities to reach a pan-India consumer base
NEW DELHI, India and BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 27, 2023: Walmart today announced that 32,000+ MSMEs have completed training under the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program (Walmart Vriddhi) since the program launch in December 2019. Over 6,000 of these MSME have been onboarded and are active on Flipkart’s marketplace giving them a much wider access and reach to a pan-India consumer base.
With the country’s GDP slated to approach $5 trillion by 2028, the Indian MSME sector is projected to be worth $1 trillion the same year, thereby becoming a key pillar of India’s economic growth and playing a pertinent role in realizing the vision of a self-reliant nation. While the sector contributes about 33% of India’s total GDP today and accounts for about 120 million jobs across regions and industries, it simultaneously also consists of small-scale entrepreneurs like women, marginal entrepreneurs, traditional craftspeople, and local artisans who lack the skills of doing business in today’s [digital] environment.
Walmart believes that helping these local entrepreneurs and suppliers with tools to expand their business will help them become part of a wider supply chain, create more domestic jobs, and provide sustained growth for the Indian MSME sector. Walmart’s five-year MSME investment plan is to train 50,000 MSMEs across India by 2024 through the Vriddhi program with its local program partner, Swasti.
Since the launch of the program in 2019, Walmart has been equipping MSMEs with on-demand learning modules. These modules include but are not limited to marketing, finance, streamlining of supply chain management, implementing data-driven insights to make informed decisions, identifying emerging trends to seize opportunities for innovation and expansion, among others, to enable them to grow and scale their business both online – whether on Flipkart or other marketplaces – and offline. To further aid the learning program, Walmart also provides the MSMEs with access to a community of entrepreneurial peers along with personalized mentoring sessions.
Jason Fremstad, Senior Vice President, Supplier Development, Walmart, said, “We launched Walmart Vriddhi in 2019 with the intention to equip 50,000 Indian MSMEs with the skills necessary to succeed in business. From streamlining supply chains to implementing data-driven insights, these skills enable them to make informed decisions, identify emerging trends, and seize opportunities for innovation and expansion. Through Vriddhi, we are committed to empowering MSMEs with comprehensive learning opportunities to not only level the playing field, but also help ensure that MSMEs can not only survive, but also thrive. Witnessing over 30,000 MSMEs to date embrace the digital route is a testament to the significance of equipping them with future-ready skills.”
Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group, said, “At Flipkart, we are committed to the growth of MSMEs and building an enabling and inclusive e-commerce ecosystem. MSMEs are the backbone of India’s growth and digitization will play a crucial role in helping them explore new growth opportunities. We are delighted to play a part in helping local businesses leverage the power of e-commerce through Walmart Vriddhi and Flipkart Samarth. We will continue to deepen our engagement with all stakeholders to expand opportunities to local businesses across India.”
The strong digital ecosystem in India will be a catalyst for MSMEs in the coming years. With over 32,000 MSMEs completing the program, below are stories of a few Vriddhi graduates across different parts of India who have successfully scaled their business, made a mark for themselves and are thriving in the industry:
– Anusha Manchanda, Project Manager, Plus Creations Pvt. Ltd: Anusha Manchanda is a second-generation entrepreneur based out of Panipat, Haryana, who joined her 30-year-old family-run company, Plus Creations, which is focused on creating biodegradable solutions such as extending recycling and disposal applications for product packaging, including food wrapping papers, paper rolls, butter paper etc., selling through B2B and B2c channels.
According to Plus Creations, they aligned with the government’s sustainable packaging measures, and provided an alternative to other packaging materials. Due to the pandemic, the firm faced several challenges in terms of reaching customers through physical distribution channels, which impacted the business. However, within challenging times lay an opportunity for growth. Anusha upskilled with Walmart Vriddhi and diversified to ecommerce channels like Flipkart, which helped keep the business afloat and reach to a wider market domestically. Over the years, Anusha is now far more confident, empowered by the learnings and remains hopeful of increasing her company’s turnover.
– Kanak Deka, YNotFoods: For Kanak Deka, a young entrepreneur from Guwahati, Assam, the desire of taking Assamese cuisine and pickles to households across India turned her love for food into a business. Deka established YNotFoods in the year 2019, selling authentic and traditional pickles and condiments, sourced locally from tribal farmers who produced traditional ingredients such as fermented bamboo shoots, king chilies, ginger etc. Slow and steady, Kanak has managed to build a thriving and flourishing local business and contributed to the community’s welfare, procuring over 50 quintals of raw products from farmers in the past six months alone. YNotFoods, today sees customers from across India, from Maharashtra, Goa to Tamil Nadu. Kanak attributes this success to the mentorship she received via Walmart Vriddhi, which helped her expand online and sell products to a pan-India market. Through YNotFoods, Kanak has also been able to empower the local communities, help multiple women earn better livelihoods and most importantly, bring a taste of the Northeast to other parts of India.
– Mohammed Taqi Vakil, Founder, Kings Crispy Onions: Mohammaed Taqi Vakil’s venture, Kings Crispy Onions, which sells fried and dehydrated onions is an example of how modernizing the food business can bring benefits. Located in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, Kings Crispy Onions has been producing dehydrated onion in the form of rings, slices, kibbled, chopped, minced, granules and powder, for more than three decades. Started in 1994 by Mr. Taqi’s father, the factory initially had a production capacity of 300 tons per year, which grew to 3,600 tons per year by 2006, and further expanded to 15,000 tons per year in 2022.
Enrolling with Walmart Vriddhi helped Vakil scale the business and appeal to more customers, through online channels. Aspiring to be Asia’s largest manufacturer of fried onions, Vakil is working to build a contemporary, global business with operations on par with the best in the world. “Vriddhi helped me understand better how to analyze product demand, market analysis, and create strategies for new product launches. We know what our buyers need, and now we are focusing our R&D efforts in areas like packing, procurement, finished products as well, all aligned with global standards and regulatory compliance.”
Ankit Sharma, Founder, Future Farmers LLP: Not many are aware of Madhya Pradesh’s rich black alluvial soil- which contributes to its agricultural output, especially the thriving sugar production. In Narsighpur district, known as the State’s sugar bowl, farmers are keen on producing jaggery, which is globally famed. This is also the discovery that led Ankit Sharma to realize a potential in the jaggery sector. His local research helped him crystallize three clear business objectives that would soon set his brand of jaggery apart: make sure the process of making jaggery is hygienic; the jaggery retains its nutritional value; and the product resonates with the modern audience. By placing automation and machine integration across the supply chain, Ankit has ensured that his brand of Jaggery – Gladden – is never touched by human hands. Ankit had to learn more than just farming. Only armed with an IT degree, Walmart Vriddhi mentorship enabled him to upskill, understand MSMEs and the relevant government schemes. The team also helped him with marketing, planning, product packaging, registration and designing business strategies. Today, Gladden is sold through a mix of offline and online retail channels, including Flipkart.
– Aruna Dara, Founder & CEO, Aruna Apna Green Products: Hyderabad-based, an academic research stint led Aruna to discover that banana fibres could be used for creating sanitary napkins. She started an awareness program for students in schools and colleges on the alternatives to sanitary napkins available in the market. As awareness grew, so did demand, and she invested to go into production in 2019 and developed a prototype to create an economical and banana fiber based sanitary napkin which is biodegradable, using the latest technologies. She also provided farmers with a second income opportunity by sourcing banana fibre from them. With support from the Walmart Vriddhi team, she learned the importance of ecommerce and how it helps build brand presence along with business inputs on supply chain and logistics. She registered her company on Flipkart and realized how it has made logistics easier and increased her company’s presence on various channels.