Wednesday 11 December 2019 bets on vernacular, voice and videos to help sellers boost sales

NEW DELHI: on Monday said it is focusing on three areas -- vernacular, voice and video -- to help merchants connect better with customers and increase their sales.

Amazon India vice president Seller Services Gopal Pillai said its seller base in the country has grown to over 5.5 lakh, and the company continues to work on a number of initiatives to bring more small and medium businesses on its platform.

"We continue to focus on 3 Vs - vernacular, voice and videos to help sellers. We provide support in five vernacular languages for them, and are working on growing that," he said without disclosing more details. is locked in a bruising battle for market leadership in India against Walmart-backed Flipkart, which is also working on bringing more small and medium businesses on its platform.

Earlier on Monday, Walmart announced that it will open 25 institute hubs in India over the next five years.

These hubs will train 50,000 entrepreneurs from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector and are part of Walmart's "long-term commitment to India", Walmart International president and CEO Judith McKenna said.

Talking about the company's plan, Pillai said it is organising Small Business Day on December 14.

"The event will see participation from thousands of manufacturers, small brand owners, start-ups, artisans, and weavers and will encourage shoppers to discover and buy unique and hard-to-find products offered by small businesses and micro entrepreneurs," he said.

The specially curated online event will offer customers the opportunity to discover and purchase products under its various programs such as Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, Amazon Karigar and others.

Amazon also announced its partnership with CII to conduct awareness workshops and training in pre-identified locations to enable small and medium businesses start their e-commerce journey.

Pillai said Amazon and the industry body will conduct various activities, including a series of awareness workshops, road shows, and e-commerce training, among other initiatives.

These workshops will be held across India, focused on domestic MSMEs and potential exporters with a view to sensitise these MSMEs on the potential of enhancing market access by leveraging Amazon's global marketplace, he added.

"E-commerce has played a significant role by lowering entrance costs and barriers to help MSMEs engage in international trade and Global Value Chains (GVC). The inclusiveness of GVC could be greatly enhanced by expanding and extending the benefits of e-commerce platforms to Indian MSMEs," CII director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.

CII and Amazon agreed to start with a series of workshops in five cities in identified MSME clusters of leather & footwear, apparels and textiles, automobile, cycle parts and handicrafts, he added.

The workshops will aim to raise awareness about e-commerce, and focus on how MSMEs can leverage e-commerce for their success, particularly for B2C (business-to-consumer) exports, he noted.

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