In a bid to revive the staggering economy due to the coronavirus-led lockdown, on May 12, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the war cry of ‘Vocal for Local,’ and pitched for ‘Made in India’ products. He further said, “India needs to be atmanirbhar (self-reliant) to fight the COVID-19 crisis.”
The PM also announced a package of Rs 2 trillion to tackle the financial setbacks faced by the business ecosystem of the country, and urged the nation to use the current crisis to make India self-reliant.
The ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative will help promote local businesses, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have faced the severe burnt of the lockdown in the past two months.
In fact, various platforms have come forward to brace this change. Here are a few platforms that are facilitating India to become atmanirbhar.
B2B online marketplace TradeIndia is strengthening the ‘Vocal for Local’ agenda by providing a reliable platform to local buyers and sellers for identifying trustworthy business partners.
Started 1996 by Bikky Khosla in New Delhi, the platform today has 5.5 million registered users.
TradeIndia.com COO Sandip Chhettri
TradeIndia has also upgraded its mobile app in six vernacular languages, such as Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi, and Odia, making it an ideal forum for businesses from across India. Through the app, businesses can vocalise and interact with each other to operate smoothly, securely, and effectively.
The app also comes equipped with additional features, including a chat option that allows the buyer to connect with the seller directly with each listing.
The online marketplace ShopClues has introduced an ‘Atmanirbhar’ section on its platform which includes locally made products across categories such as fashion, footwear, home and kitchen, electronics, jewellery and watches, and groceries, among others.
The Gurugram-based platform is also adding ‘Made in India’ badges on all its products that have been produced in the country, as part of its ‘Vocal for Local’ efforts.
“ShopClues currently has over 2,500 local merchants across India that locally manufacture their products. We have a long working relationship with these manufacturers, and their operations have been verified to be indigenous over the years,” Sanjay Sethi, CEO, ShopClues, said.
ShopClues CEO Sanjay Sethi and CBO Radhika Ghai
Some of the domestic brands on the platform include Digimate, Khadi, Pause, Clymb, Darkpyro, Ikall, Sukkhi, and Patanjali.
Farm to retail agritech startup Crofarm recently launched its social commerce venture OTIPY, to revolutionise the supply chain of fresh produce in India. OTIPY works closely with women reseller partners to fulfil the demand of end-consumers, and facilitates the contactless doorstep delivery of fresh produce.
The startup is working with 500+ partner resellers, mainly women, across Delhi-NCR, and is serving over 50,000 consumers. Through its robust end-to-end supply chain network, farm products are brought to consumers via social commerce model, and the fresh produce reaches the doorstep in less than 12 hours.
Founded in April 2016 by Varun Khurana and Prashant Jain, the Gurugram-based startup raised its latest round of funding of $1 billion in June this year led by Smile Group.
Supporting the ‘Local for Vocal’ campaign, Delhi-based agritech startup AgriBazaar is working closely with farmers, state governments, and procurement agencies to allow trade from the safety of their homes.
As a full-stack agritech player, AgriBazaar has replicated the physical mandi (marketplace) to an e-mandi aggregator model, through which once a farmer registers and uploads his produce, buyers can give orders for the purchase. Once the deal is complete, AgriBazaar facilitates the logistics of picking up the grain from the farmer’s doorstep and delivering it to the buyers’ warehouse.
Amith Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, AgriBazaar
AgriBazaar also helps buyers — from MNCs to small-scale industries — with better price discovery, and sellers with more targeted marketing of their produce. It charges a transaction fee from buyers, while farmers can sell their produce at no additional cost.
Driven to make life simpler in rural areas by providing consumers with a one-stop solution to pay their multi-utility bills, Rohit Kumar and Bohitesh Misra started XPay.Life in May 2019.
Rohit and Bohitesh of XPay.Life
XPay.Life, an NPCI-approved, multi-utility bill payment platform has clocked Rs 3 crore in revenue in May, with more than 60,000 transactions. The startup caters to 50,000+ pin codes across India, helping people pay their electricity, landline, and DTH bills, among others, by using digital means.