Walmart Inc launches supplier development programme in India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 09, 2019 Published on December 09, 2019

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US-based retail major Walmart Inc on Monday launched a supplier development programme in India with the aim to train 50,000 small and medium entrepreneurs enabling them to scale up and become part of global supply chains.

The initiative called the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program, aims to train these 50,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) by setting up 25 institutes strategically near manufacturing clusters across the country in the next five years, the company added. The first such institute is expected to open in March 2020.

India is already among the top five sourcing markets for the retail giant globally, and the new initiative is part of its long-term commitments to the country.

Speaking at the launch event of the initiative, Judith McKenna, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart International, said, “Today, our Cash & Carry stores source 95 per cent of what they sell from India...India is a top-five sourcing market for Walmart today, with a global sourcing hub in Bangalore that already sources Indian products for 14 markets around the world. “

“The Walmart Vriddhi Program will connect the network of supplier development communities we have already today in Flipkart and Best Price, using their learnings to help develop powerful curriculum and expand and accelerate the work even further and faster. With training and support, we can provide new and unique opportunities for MSME growth, both domestically and abroad,” she added.

The company said the Walmart Vriddhi institutes would directly train MSME to enable them to become part of the domestic and international supply chains of Walmart and Flipkart as well as other players.

“Uniquely, this is an open platform designed not for Walmart but for the best interests of those the program will serve.,” McKenna pointed out, adding that this will be a pan-India initiative. The company, however, did not give specifics on investments being made on setting up these institutes.

In 2018, Walmart acquired 77 per cent stake in the country’s leading online e-commerce platform Flipkart, which also operates Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe.

The announcement comes at a time when opposition by local traders in India against Amazon and Flipkart has intensified in recent weeks. Traders body CAIT has alleged that these players are in violation of the provisions of the FDI policy and are indulging in predatory pricing and deep discounting.

Published on December 09, 2019
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