Updated: July 9, 2021 4:57:54 am
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday virtually inaugurated the first Digital Kendra of e-commerce giant Amazon in Surat city that aims to be a physical resource centre for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) providing third party services in e-commerce.
The move is part of Amazon India’s commitment to digitise 10 million Indian micro, small and medium enterprises by 2025. The 1,400 sq ft centre has been set up at Krushi Bazar (APMC Market) and is located in an important MSME cluster.
Thanking Amazon for choosing Surat to start their first Digital Kendra in the country, Rupani said, “Digital transactions and e-commerce have become essential for safeguarding health in times of the pandemic.”
During the pandemic, Rupani said, the Gujarat government “ensured safety and did not allow economic activities to slow down”. Stating how Gujaratis had the capacity to convert an adversity into opportunity, the CM said that the state maintained its progress in industrial growth and “had 37 per cent share of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)” in 2020-’21.
“It is necessary for the small traders and manufacturers to reach the world market. The artisans and craftsmen will also be internationally acclaimed. Through this centre, I am confident that the products of the state will reach globally… digital market has
opened doors to the world,” Rupani said.
Amazon India vice-president Manish Tiwary said the Digital Kendra would provide MSMEs “third party services starting from training on benefits from e-commerce, cataloguing products, shipping, and logistics support, to GST and taxation support to the third-party service providers”. According to him, it would be a “one-stop place for MSMEs to do the entire digital transformation to sell online”.
Describing Surat as a “mini India” where people from different states have settled to work in various industries, including diamond and textiles, Rupani 41,000 MSMEs in Surat would benefit from this digital centre and get a “global platform” to do business.
Speaking at the launch, Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal said e-commerce was mostly an urban phenomenon when the company started its operations in the country in 2013. “This year we are focusing on enabling every motivated seller to reach customers across India and globally. We have made significant investments in logistics, technology, delivery infrastructure, and digitisation. This has collectively helped more customers and businesses online. It has become a daily habit, a livelihood for many people,” Agarwal said.
According to Agrawal, Surat was chosen for the first Digital Kendra in the country because it has “thousands of MSME located in and around the city”.
“We have set up the first Amazon Digital Kendra in one of the most important MSME clusters and will cater to thousands of MSMEs located in and around the city. The state has been a key geography for us and we have made significant investments in the state. We have three centres with more than 1.5 million cubic feet space area with more than 100 delivery service partner stations across the state and this has resulted in thousands of local jobs,” said Agarwal.
Pointing out that more than one lakh sellers from Gujarat sell products to customers in different parts of the country and across the world, he added, “We believe that Amazon Digital Kendra will further catalyse the technology adoption and digitisation of MSMEs.”
Giving the example of a popular brand of Monali Patel from Surat who started handicrafts business in 2014 and joined Amazon, Agarwal said, “Her company hires women from rural areas of Gujarat, give them employment, make them financially independent… As the country emerges from the pandemic, I firmly believe that technology adoption and industrial transformation will pay a huge role in making India’s growing economy.”
According to Tiwary, while e-commerce was barely three-fourth of the retail market, since Amazon entered India, it had digitised 2.50 million MSMEs across the country. “If you look at the trend, since January 2020, close to 300,000 new sellers have joined Amazon.in to grow their business in these challenging times and consumers look at e-commerce as a safe way to shop,” said Tiwary.
(With PTI inputs)
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