Union MSME minister Nitin Gadkari has urged retail giant Walmart to work with khadi and village industries to promote their products, including khadi denim, in global markets. He said the MSME sector is the backbone of the country's economy, employing over 11 crore people and is an engine to economic growth. He said the government has taken a number of steps to help the MSME sector that has seen significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gadkari advised Walmart to engage with sectors like handloom, handicrafts, and other village industries. The retailer is already expanding the footprint of India's MSME industry globally, by sourcing from these enterprises and also helping the sector enhance quality standards.
In December last year, Walmart announced plans to open 25 institute hubs in India over the next five years, which would train 50,000 entrepreneurs from the MSME sector. The institutes are to be opened under the Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program and would be strategically located near manufacturing clusters.
Walmart also plans to add interactive online training experiences and personalized mentoring to the program, with access to resources and experts to support growth for MSMEs. 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.