Walmart Vriddhi
TheNFAPost Podcast

End-to-end program of interactive virtual training, personalised consultation and ecosystem support to equip Panipat MSMEs for online and offline growth

Bengaluru, NFAPost: India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) now have the opportunity to embark on a digitally enhanced entrepreneurial journey through the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Programme.

The journey features interactive online training experiences and personalized mentoring, with access to resources and experts to support growth. This supports the goals of Digital India by providing MSMEs with the tools to adopt new technologies to expand their business.

The Walmart Vriddhi Program was launched by Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in December 2019 with the aim to empower 50,000 Indian MSMEs to “Make in India” for domestic and global supply chains.

Network experience

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the programme was reshaped to emphasize digital experiences, and this allowed it to be rolled out to more MSMEs. In the future, it will offer a mix of digital and in-person training, mentoring and network experiences via physical Vriddhi Institutes when conditions are favourable.

The e-institute-based Vriddhi Program provides MSMEs an easy-to-use interactive learning experience through online modules with a blend of teaching and assessment tools. Participants receive personalized feedback through virtual classrooms, formal assessments and one-on-one advisory sessions. 

To prepare MSMEs to sell through new online and offline channels in India and abroad, the program will also offer advanced training that includes personalized mentoring and the opportunity to work with service providers and peers.

Entrepreneurial journey

The Vriddhi entrepreneurial journey equips MSMEs with tailored knowledge of key aspects of business management, enterprise growth, customer-centric services, manufacturing best practices, responsible sourcing and more.

In response to the challenges brought about by Covid-19, it has been extended to reinforce the ability of MSME leaders to identify strategic issues, expedite digital adoption and increase efficiencies in their businesses.

Designed by Walmart in partnership with the program’s knowledge manager, Swasti, the curriculum is tailored to the business challenges and growth aspirations of MSMEs in the communities in which it is offered.

Walmart International President and CEO Judith McKenna said Walmart Vriddhi opens up opportunities for MSMEs to sell into Walmart’s supply chains or the open marketplace.

Importance of supplier

“Wherever they are in their journey and whatever their aspirations for growth, that openness makes the program unique and puts the supplier at the center of everything we do. With today’s digital enhancements, we’re helping more entrepreneurs expand their capabilities and build sustainable businesses that add value to their communities,” said Walmart International President and CEO Judith McKenna.

Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy added that as India adjusts to the ‘new normal,’ digital transformation is a path to resilience for businesses.

“In concert with the government’s Digital India initiative, we want to help Indian MSMEs digitize so they can react to market trends and challenges with speed and agility, better serve their customers and grow their business. Flipkart and Walmart are working together on Vriddhi and other programs to make a real difference for MSMEs and to contribute to sustained economic growth for India,” said Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy.

Kitchenware production

Walmart Vriddhi’s first all-digital e-institute will initially be open to MSMEs in Panipat, Sonipat, and Kundli, an area that is a hub of textile, steel and kitchenware production with a strong entrepreneurial heritage and a skilled workforce. Eligible MSMEs can access the digital training experience through a mobile application available on iOS and Android in both English and Hindi.

Vriddhi will progressively roll out e-institutes to other regions in India, providing tailored training, mentoring and ecosystem support.

Swasti Co-founder and Chief Mentor Shiv Kumar said the need to work with India’s MSME sector and its workforce to enable holistic measures to support their growth and evolution has never been more pressing than it is today.

“The multi-level, online training approach that the Vriddhi Program affords is tailored to address the identified needs of the MSMEs and will help them build and adapt their businesses to serve domestic and global supply chains. This will fast track their growth and ensure longevity for their business,” said Swasti Co-founder and Chief Mentor Shiv Kumar.

Hygiene products

In recent months, Walmart has actively worked with its various MSME suppliers and Panipat-based businesses to help them cater to the rising demand for essential PPE and hygiene products. Flipkart Samarth has also helped local artisans, weavers and many rural & women entrepreneurs get back to business.

Drawing on the extensive eCommerce experience Walmart and Flipkart have in India, as well as in wholesale retail and sourcing for global markets, Swasti has extended advisory support to MSMEs on financial schemes, government programs and business operations, offering best practices for business realignment and continuity during these challenging times.

Walmart Inc. helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 265 million customers and members visit approximately 11,500 stores under 56 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2020 revenue of $524 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.

Sellers, merchants

The Flipkart Group is one of India’s leading digital commerce entities and includes group companies Flipkart, Myntra, and PhonePe. Started in 2007, Flipkart has enabled millions of consumers, sellers, merchants, and small businesses to be a part of India’s e-commerce revolution, with a registered customer base of over 250 million, offering over 150 million products across 80+ categories.

Swasti, a part of the Catalyst Group, is headquartered in Bengaluru and active globally with a footprint in 30 countries, was founded in 2004. Swasti demonstrates scalable solution models in partnership with communities, governments and supply chain players and supports scale up as well as affect policies positively nationally and internationally.

Over the past 16 years, Swasti has worked with over 22 brands, reached over 500,000 people through its initiatives, including more than 238,000 factory workers, the majority of whom are women. 

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