Walmart To Open 25 Institutes In Next 5 Years, Train 50,000 Entrepreneurs
An employee inspects a receipt at an exit of a Walmart Inc. Best Price Modern Wholesale store in Hyderabad, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Walmart To Open 25 Institutes In Next 5 Years, Train 50,000 Entrepreneurs

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U.S. retail major Walmart Inc. will open 25 institute hubs in India in the next five years, which would train 50,000 entrepreneurs from the micro, small and medium enterprises sector, said a top company official.

The institutes opened under 'Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Program' would be spread across the nation and would be strategically located near the manufacturing clusters and are part of Walmart's "long-term commitment to India", Walmart International President and Chief Executive Officer Judith McKenna said.

However, the retail major did not share the amount, which it would invest to open the network of such institutes but said the move would also help to increase the local sourcing from India. India is presently the fifth-largest sourcing hub for Walmart's global operation in 14 markets, after China, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

"In the first five years, our commitment is to train 50,000 MSME entrepreneurs. We will train them at 25 institute hubs strategically located near manufacturing clusters across India so that they are convenient to access," McKenna said. Over the past decade, Walmart is working to bring Indian MSMEs into its supply chain, she said.

"You may not be aware, but we see India as a top-five sourcing market for Walmart today, with a global sourcing hub in Bangalore that already sources Indian products to export to 14 global markets. And we want to do more," she added.

Walmart will proactively work with the central government, state governments, and others to continue to identify the needs of farmers, kiranas, and MSMEs in India. "We will continue to listen and to invest in India," she said. Presently, Walmart India operates 27 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores offering nearly 5,000 items in a Cash & Carry wholesale format sources 95 percent locally.

"We also committed to our best price warehouses that Walmart India will source 25 percent of all fresh produce directly from farmers who grow it - rather than through middlemen - and then sell that produce in our Cash & Carry stores," she said.

Over the next five years, MSMEs will receive in-person training, a feature unique to this program, as well as expert advice, access to Walmart's deep global experience and a network of peers and mentors in their local communities. Walmart has partnered with a local non-governmental organisation Swasti for these institutes, which would also have academic support from the local universities.

Participants will be equipped for both online and offline growth, helping them with the tools to potentially become a part of the supply chain of Flipkart, Walmart Global Sourcing and Walmart India, or those of other domestic and international companies.

"That is because not only is it good for business but also because we have a long-term commitment to India," she said adding "we believe that with training and support, we can provide new and unique opportunities for MSME growth, both domestically and abroad."

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