Ecommerce will play a defining role in MSMEs' success says Nitin Gadkari at Amazon Smbhav Summit 2021

On the first day of the virtual Amazon Smbhav Summit 2021, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari said that digitalisation should be a priority and Amazon, along with other stakeholders and experts, should keep investing and enhancing the potential of India’s MSMEs.
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Addressing the Amazon Smbhav 2021 event today, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari said that ecommerce will play a definite role in helping India’s MSMEs succeed, and the sector needs to ensure that the digital transformation of MSMEs takes place at a pace that enables them to capitalise on the current opportunities. 

Amazon Smbhav 2021 brings together important industry and thought leaders for invigorating discussions on the path to creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by unlocking possibilities for small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators, through a partnership with Amazon.

Nitin Gadkari added that with the global supply chain undergoing significant restructuring, and countries are looking to diversify their supply out of China, providing MSMEs with a great opportunity to integrate into this global supply chain. He also strongly emphasised upon technology adoption, which he said will be a very clear factor in defining the success and competitiveness of Indian MSMEs — both locally and in the international markets. “Digitalising billions of MSMEs should be a priority,” he said.

“In parallel, there needs to be a greater focus on capacity building for MSMEs. These include helping the sector with the right inputs, design, manufacturing, maintaining product quality and scaling their business, and Amazon should continue to focus on such capacity-building activities that has enabled small and marginal sellers by expanding their outreach,” he said.

Union Minister for MSME Nitin Gadkari

He urged Amazon and all other stakeholders, industry leaders, and experts present at the event to keep investing and enhancing the potential of India’s MSMEs, and make them more successful and powerful. 

“I was very pleased to hear that 2.5 million MSMEs work with Amazon India including sellers, artisans, weavers, delivery, and logistics services etc, and has also enabled $3 billion in cumulative exports. This is a great example of the dynamism of our MSMEs and proof of how we have the potential to succeed across the global markets and realise the true potential of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

Talking about the pertinent COVID-19 situation across the country, he said that the pandemic posed some serious challenges to the MSME sector but enterprises were able to adapt to the changing circumstances and help India get back on its growth.

“As a country, we battled the first wave of COVID-19 with great resilience and came out with strong growth projections. I am confident with the ability of the MSME sector to battle the ongoing wave with a similar conviction and lead India’s positive growth trajectory,” he said.

Amazon also announced a $250 million (around Rs 1,873 crore) fund that will focus on digitising small and medium businesses and drive innovation in the areas of agritech and healthtech.

A special initiative called Spotlight North East was also announced by Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space in another session. The initiative is designed to boost the local economy, create jobs, and accelerate financial inclusion and empowerment of women and the tribal community across the North-East region of India. 

The programme aims to bring the benefits of ecommerce to 50,000 weavers, artisans, tribal communities, and local small businesses, including offline neighbourhood stores across the region by 2025, enabling them access to technology and customers. Amazon will focus on bringing more than 5,000 unique crafts, Geographical Indication (GI) products, and other local products to its India marketplace.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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