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Walmart Introduces Training To Foster Microbusiness, SMB Growth In India

Microbusinesses and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) based in India can take advantage of new educational opportunities from Walmart, the company said in an annoucement Tuesday (Oct. 27).

The Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program offers online training and personalized mentoring for entrepreneurs. Participants also have access to resources and experts to help fortify growth, the announcement stated.

Introduced by Walmart in December 2019, the Vriddhi Program’s goal is to assist 50,000 Indian microbusinesses and SMBs to “Make in India” for global supply chains, according to the announcement. The pandemic caused the program to go digital, which furthered its reach. Future programs will likely be a combination of digital and in-person classes at Vriddhi Institutes.

“Walmart Vriddhi opens up opportunities for [microbusinesses and SMBs] to sell into Walmart’s supply chains or the open marketplace,” said Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart International, in the announcement. “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.”

The goals of the Vriddhi entrepreneurial journey include providing microbusinesses and SMBs with business management skills pertinent to their industries, customer skills, responsible sourcing and more, the announcement stated. Information is also offered to help businesses overcome pandemic challenges by adopting new technology and improving business efficiencies.

Walmart created the educational offerings in partnership with the program’s knowledge manager, Swasti, the announcement stated. Each curriculum is customized to meet the needs of each small business community.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, added that India is still getting used to what a post-pandemic normal will look like, but “digital transformation” will be the way for businesses to forge a “path to resilience,” according to the announcement.

The pandemic has advanced mobile payments in India to a point where the payment method could surpass the use of cards, according to a 2020 India Mobile Payments Market Report released in June. Cashless payments were already taking off slowly pre-pandemic but the virus propelled their use.

The economic fallout from the pandemic caused India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to plummet 24 percent in the second quarter, the worst slide in almost 25 years.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a $6.6 billion stimulus plan to boost the economy and encourage spending.

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