Wal­mart to en­cour­age woman en­tre­pre­neur in In­dia

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Wal­mart re­cently fe­lic­i­tated as many as 32 women en­trepreneurs in its pi­lot Wal­mart Women En­trepreneur­ship De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme in In­dia, in an at­tempt to strengthen its fo­cus on in­creas­ing di­ver­sity in the sup­ply chain. Of them, the re­tailer has iden­ti­fied 8 en­trepreneurs as sup­pli­ers, since their prod­ucts fit­ted the as­sort­ment. Go­ing for­ward, Wal­mart In­dia plans to launch a sim­i­lar pro­gram to train women en­trepreneurs in pro­fes­sional and soft skills to help them build busi­nesses. In Septem­ber 2011, Wal­mart launched its Global Women’s Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment ini­tia­tive and through it, by the end of 2016, it could source $20 bil­lion from women for its US busi­ness. In In­dia, where it has about 21 cash-and-carry stores and cur­rently has a pipe­line of about 50 women sup­pli­ers on board.

The idea is that when women be­come en­trepreneurs, their so­cial sta­tus in the coun­try goes up. Wal­mart cur­rently has around 50 women sup­pli­ers in its ecosys­tem. The aim is to dou­bling the sourc­ing from women sup­pli­ers from the In­dian mar­ket. For Wal­mart sup­port­ing women-owned busi­nesses is a strate­gic ini­tia­tive and makes good busi­ness sense since cus­tomers see prod­ucts from women-owned busi­nesses as be­ing of bet­ter qual­ity. The com­pany has been able to in­crease women par­tic­i­pa­tion at the store level to 16% across all its stores in In­dia. The tar­get is to have 25% women store man­agers over the next 5 years.

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