Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce marketplace, has signed an agreement with the district administration of Varanasi, Government of Uttar Pradesh, to enable national market access for artisans, weavers, people with disabilities and small and medium enterprises of Varanasi. This expansion of e-commerce opportunities will, in turn, create lakhs of employment opportunities.
This collaboration will allow the Banaras sarees, handmade carpets, Zardozi craft, metal crafts, and handmade daris of Uttar Pradesh to be available to the 400 million customers on the Flipkart platform under the Samarth programme.
The programme will train the artisans, weavers, crafstmen and PwDs of Varanasi and offer them time-bound incubation support, warehousing assistance, as well as marketing and accounts administration support, which will help them establish and grow their business on the e-commerce platform.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to this effect between Umesh Kumar Singh, joint commissioner, department of industries, Varanasi division and Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer, Flipkart Group.
The event also saw the artisans, weavers, PwDs and craftsmen of Varanasi being recognised by the dignitaries for their contribution towards the society.
Emphasising on the power of technology in ensuring access to a wider national market, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Hon’ble Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, said, “MSMEs’ growth and digital transformation are a road to realising the country`s dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy.”
Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer, Flipkart Group, said, “Our efforts are focused on helping local artisans and craftsmen digitise their business and explore growth opportunities through Flipkart’s e-commerce marketplace”.
Kumar revealed how delighted Flipkart is to “continue to deepen our engagement in the state of Uttar Pradesh while creating lakhs of opportunities and new jobs through this MoU and expanding e-commerce opportunities to small businesses, artisans, weavers etc. in Varanasi on the National Handloom Day, just ahead of the 75th anniversary of our nation’s independence.”
The ‘Samarth’ initiative was launched in 2019 to introduce lakhs of MSMEs, artisans and underserved communities from across India to growth opportunities via e-commerce. The primary objective is to provide underserved domestic communities and companies with a sustainable and inclusive platform and better livelihood opportunities.