Hyderabad: The Coronavirus-led lockdown has deeply impacted brick and mortar retail sales, however, online sales are seeing tremendous growth. E-commerce major Flipkart says that the platform is seeing 1.5 times to 2 times growth, while its Samarth programme — that supports Indian artisans and small businesses — has seen 4X growth.
Walmart-invested company has supported six lakh artisans from across the country in the last one year of the Samarth programme launch and has signed seven MoU with six State governments and one Central government respectively. While the 200 million customer base company did see a dip in demand in the first quarter of FY20, the platform saw the demand pick up once the lockdown restrictions were eased.
Speaking at virtual celebration of the first anniversary of Flipkart Samarth, head of marketplace, senior director, Jagjeet Harode said, “The one year journey with Flipkart Samarth has brought forward the potential that e-commerce has in bringing to light the local and often sparse handicraft and handloom sector of our country. In the last one year, we have had sellers from 22 sellers and have signed MoUs with six States including Karnataka, Odisha, Jharkhanbd, AP, Gujarat and UP and also with the Centre under its Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana.” Harode added that the number of sellers on the platform has seen a 1.5 times to 2 times growth and there has been a spurt in the number of enquiries for the Samarth platform.
Minister of State for MSME Pratap Chandra Sarangi said, “The MSME contribution to GDP is 30 per cent and to exports was 38 per cent before Corona. However, the pandemic has badly impacted the MSME sector and the local production has been impacted due to the lockdown. Now, the government has made sure that the sector is becoming self-sufficient through the various Atmanirbhar Schemes. Corona has made us realise how vulnerable we are due to our dependence on other countries.”
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