Exports and sourcing from India have not been impacted despite the Covid-19 pandemic and they continue to grow, a senior global Walmart official spoke about how Walmart has maintained its growth despite such an unprecedented crisis.
Walmart has very well adapted to the new normal: the Bentonville-headquartered retailer amid its partnership with Indian farmers has turned its attention to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to make them online and offline retail-ready.
The official shared that not only does this move comes as a shot in the arm for Flipkart’s recently launched wholesale arm, but it also bolsters the US retailer’s global supply chain machinery.
Further, he added, “India right now is one of our top sourcing markets for Walmart. We think we can invest in Indian suppliers to supply locally and export to global Walmart as well as non-Walmart operations. They can sell in local or global markets whether it’s to us or our competitors.”
The retailers in recent times have worked with MSME suppliers and Panipat-based businesses to help them cater to the rising demand for essential PPE and hygiene products. Two years ago, the company announced a $25-million grant from Walmart Foundation to invest in Indian farmers to help them with the necessary skills in order to make the transition into suppliers for modern retail chains.
“Flipkart and Walmart are working together on Vriddhi and other programmes to make a real difference for MSMEs and to contribute to sustained economic growth for India.”~Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group
Walmart Vriddhi’s launched by Walmart Inc. in December 2019 aimed to empower 50,000 Indian MSMEs to “Make in India” for domestic and global supply chains. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the program was reshaped to emphasise digital experiences, and this allowed it to be rolled out to more MSMEs.
The e-institute which was launched yesterday will impart training to more than 2,000 MSMEs in the next two years.
As per sources, all-digital e-institutes will initially be open to MSMEs in Panipat, Sonipat and Kundli — an area that is a hub of textile, steel and kitchenware production.