NEW DELHI: Exports and sourcing from India have not been impacted despite the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to grow, a senior global Walmart official said. After partnering with Indian farmers, the Bentonville-headquartered retailer has turned its attention to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to make them online and offline retail-ready.
This will not only be a shot in the arm for the Walmartbacked Flipkart’s recently launched wholesale arm but also bolster the US retailer’s global supply chain machinery, the official said. “India right now is one of our top sourcing markets for Walmart,” the official said. “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.”
While in recent months Walmart has worked with MSME suppliers and Panipatbased 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 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,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.
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.