Amazon India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NIF Incubation and Entrepreneurship Council (NIFientreC), a Technology Business Incubator hosted by National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to accelerate grassroots innovation, local economy, and livelihoods across rural India. In line with the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the partnership aims to encourage innovation and create livelihood opportunities for lakhs of people across India. The MoU follows just days after Hon’ble Prime Minister’s declared 16th January as the National Start-up Day to enable Startups to reach the far-flung areas of the country.
As part of this program, NIFientreC, with Amazon’s help will bring together experts from various fields, particularly from the Direct-To-Customer (D2C) industry to hold masterclasses, workshops, and other interactive training programmes on all aspects of product distribution and its availability for the end-user in the most convenient ways. This partnership will help promote the creativity and innovation of students and budding entrepreneurs specialising in consumer-based technology innovation at a grassroots level and accelerate the growth of a digital India.
Dr. Gulshan Rai, Chairperson, NIFientreC, said, “With the fast-paced digital transformation that’s happening in the country right now, there could not be a better time for grassroots entrepreneurs to consider taking their innovations directly to the consumers all over India. As e-commerce grows in India, we are proud to announce this partnership with Amazon to help boost the local economy by accelerating grassroots innovation and enabling the digitization of several thousand innovators over a period of time. This is also an effort to display the country’s prowess in technology innovation and accelerate the growth of a Digital India.”
“At Amazon, we remain committed to our pledge of digitizing 10 million MSMEs in India by 2025 and contribute to the vision of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Our partnership with NIFientreC is aimed at bringing the benefits of digitization and ecommerce to grassroots entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs taking forward the student innovations from rural areas to sell to millions of Amazon customers in India and across the globe,” said Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Amazon India. “Digitization can help create sustainable livelihoods in rural India by expanding the reach of micro-entrepreneurs and thereby, unlock their full potential. With extensive capacity-building sessions and digitization drives, we hope to make selling on Amazon easier for thousands of such innovators from across rural India and help boost the local economy,” added Manish.
“It’s a milestone in India’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that grassroots innovators and Amazon will now be closer than ever before, which is an inclusivity paradigm that the rest of the world may want to replicate,” said Dr. Vipin Kumar, Director, NIF.
The MoU signing ceremony was followed by a workshop for the grassroots innovators and entrepreneurs supported by NIFientreC with trainers from Amazon so that they could take a deep dive in the contemporary useful concepts of e-commerce and keep pace with the changing times of distribution mechanisms, looking beyond the brick and mortar stores and being an active participant in global markets. In line with the growing importance of going digital for Small and Medium Businesses, it is destined to keep grassroots innovators stay ahead of the curve and attract suitable volumes for their businesses.
Amazon and NIFientreC will lay emphasis on empowering innovators from the deepest pockets of the country to benefit from ecommerce. Amazon and NIFientreC will collaborate with key players in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, including central and state government partners, to conduct these training programmes and accelerate grassroots innovation.