Nitin Gadkari seeks Walmart ‘guidance’ for khadi, village industries to ramp up MSME turnover, exports

Nitin Gadkari sitting at a table: The Vriddhi programme was launched in December last year targeting to support 50,000 MSMEs. Image: PTI

© Provided by The Financial Express
The Vriddhi programme was launched in December last year targeting to support 50,000 MSMEs. Image: PTI

Trade, Import and Export for MSMEs: MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday sought Flipkart-parent Walmart’s support for the growth of MSMEs based in khadi and village industries. Addressing the launch of a digital learning platform under Walmart Vriddhi supplier development programme for MSMEs on Tuesday, Gadkari asked for Walmart’s ‘cooperation’ to support such businesses in order to ramp up MSME exports. “My request to the management of Walmart is if you can give guidance to our handloom, handicraft and village industries, (as) they have unique products, they are definitely going to give you more business (and) at the same time it will create job opportunities in India,” said Gadkari.

Khadi and village industries FY20 turnover stood at Rs 88,887 crore of which the Khadi industry’s turnover was Rs 4211.26 crore while the village industry’s turnover was Rs 84,675.39 crore. Gadkari has already set a target of Rs 5 lakh crore turnover in the coming five years. MSMEs currently contribute nearly 50 per cent of India’s export. “The export is our target from MSMEs. Global corporates such as Walmart are making a great contribution to expanding the footprint of Indian MSMEs globally by sourcing from these enterprises and also helping the sector enhance its quality,” Gadkari added.

The e-learning platform by Walmart would offer MSMEs online learning modules ‘with a blend of teaching and assessment tools’ apart from personalized feedback through virtual classrooms, formal assessments, and one-on-one advisory sessions. The knowledge sessions would cover areas including business management, enterprise growth, customer-centric services, manufacturing best practices, etc. The Vriddhi programme was launched in December last year targeting to support 50,000 MSMEs. However, post-Covid, the programme was revisited to focus on the digital learning of MSMEs.

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“It (50,000 MSMEs) is a good target and will going to contribute to increase of our exports,” added Gadkari. The programme would enable MSMEs to “sell into Walmart’s supply chains or the open marketplace,” said Judith McKenna, President and CEO, Walmart International in a video statement during the launch of the platform. The first e-institute will initially provide access to MSMEs in Haryana’s Panipat, Sonipat, and Kundli areas that are a hub of textile, steel and kitchenware production.

The programme’s knowledge partner is the not-for-profit social organisation Swasti. “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…This (programme) will fast track their growth and ensure longevity for their business,” said Shiv Kumar, Co-founder and Chief Mentor, Swasti.