WhatsApp launches #SMBSaathi Utsav

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WhatsApp India announced SMBSaathi Utsav, an initiative aimed at assisting small businesses in adopting digital business tools such as the WhatsApp Business App.

SMBSaathi Utsav has begun with a pilot programme in Jaipur’s Johri Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, where more than 500 small businesses are receiving training on various aspects of running their businesses online. This initiative, launched in collaboration with Josh Talks, aims to educate and assist small businesses in unlocking the potential of WhatsApp for their business.

India is home to approximately 6.3 billion MSMEs, which account for 30 per cent of the country’s GDP and currently employ over 110 million individuals. During the pandemic, these companies experienced a 20 to 50 per cent decline in overall revenue. The lack of market access contributed significantly to this decline. Earlier this year, WhatsApp launched the SMBSaathi initiative, highlighting the inspiring stories of business owners across India who shifted to digital methods of conducting business during the pandemic to help these companies recover from the economic downturn. WhatsApp was the first digital gateway for many of these businesses and a simpler, more effective alternative to building and maintaining a website. The second phase of the SMBSaathi campaign is the SMBSaathi Utsav.

In Jaipur’s Johri Bazar and Bapu Bazaar, trained volunteers provide one-on-one digital training as part of the SMBSaathi Utsav. This training aims to educate business owners on establishing a digital presence on the WhatsApp Business App to better manage incoming leads and inquiries, create a product/services showcase, and market to key audiences using online tools.

“We are excited to launch the SMBSaathi and SMBSaathi Utsav programmes for India’s small business community,” said Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and technology has the potential to boost their business operations even further. During the pandemic, several small business owners flourished by staying in touch with their customers via simple platforms such as WhatsApp Business App. A small beauty salon in suburban Mumbai used WhatsApp Business App to keep her regular customers engaged during the lockdown. A Dhaba owner in Gurgaon is directly connecting with his customers through WhatsApp Business App, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of his operations and expanding into newer markets. These examples demonstrate that India’s small business owners have the ambition, passion, and ingenuity to utilize simple and dependable technologies. We are committed to finding new ways to raise awareness about simple digital tools for businesses to support and celebrate India’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit.

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