WhatsApp India has launched a new initiative named SMBSaathi Utsav which aims to support small businesses. This initiative will help small business owners to adopt digital mediums like WhatsApp Business App to run their business online and reach a bigger market base.
SMBSaathi Utsav has kicked off with a pilot in Jaipur’s Johri Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar where 500+ small businesses are being trained on various aspects of running their business online. The intent of this initiative is to educate and help small businesses to unlock the potential of their business through WhatsApp.
India is home to approximately 6.3 Cr MSMEs accounting for 30% of the country’s GDP and employing over 110 million people at present. During the pandemic, these businesses were severely affected witnessing a 20-50% decline in their overall earnings. One of the major reasons behind this fall was the lack of market access.
To help these businesses from this downturn, WhatsApp launched the SMBSaathi initiative earlier this year, which showcased inspiring stories of business owners across India who pivoted to digital ways of doing business during the pandemic. For many of these businesses, WhatsApp was their first digital gateway and an easier and more effective alternative to building and maintaining a website.
Businesses across sectors like traditional arts and handicrafts, jewellery, fashion and apparel, food and beverage outlets and several others are being trained on using the various features of the WhatsApp Business App and are being guided on how they can market their product to the right audiences.