Walmart has announced stepping up its COVID-19 support to MSMEs with the launch of a new programme called "Vriddhi Cares." The programme helps MSMEs support their family members and employees with telecare services, health advice and provides access to pandemic-related business advice and resources.
MSMEs have been receiving capacity-building support through Walmart Vriddhi since the start of the pandemic, helping them grow to new markets through Flipkart and Walmart channels and the open marketplace, Nidhi Munjal, Vice President of International Partnership Services at Walmart, said, in a release here Tuesday.
"India's MSMEs are working hard to prioritise the well being of those they care about while also navigating the unprecedented business impacts of COVID-19, Nidhi Munjal said. Vriddhi Cares is designed to provide easy access to trusted healthcare and business advice so that MSMEs are equipped to help their families, workforce and communities get through this tough time.
Walmart partner Swasti is providing free telecare services that offer remote access to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers through phone for MSMEs and their families and employees, the release said. These professionals can provide daily check-ins to monitor symptoms and offer counselling and support.
The programme further provides updated information on vaccine guidelines, home quarantine procedures and care giving in English, Hindi, Kannada and Tamil, it said. "Every day at Flipkart, we see the resilience and resourcefulness of Indias small business owners in action, Flipkart, Head of Marketplace, Jagjeet Harode said in the release.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Launched in December 2019, Walmart Vriddhi helps MSMEs develop the business skills needed to succeed as suppliers to Walmart, Flipkart and other companies in India and around the world.
With Vriddhi e-Institutes opened in Panipat, Agra, Bengaluru, Surat, Tirupur and Kanpur so far, the program provides a digitally enhanced learning experience through online modules with personalized feedback and one-on-one advisory sessions, with a goal to empower 50,000 MSMEs over five years, it said.