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Amazon India flags off digital workshops for tribal entrepreneurs in Gujarat

Part of Amazon’s MoU with Department of Tribal Development, Government of Gujarat to train and support tribal entrepreneurs across the state and enable their digital presence

Amazon India, in line with its vision to transform the way India buys and sells, conducted its first regional workshop today in Narmada to train and enable tribal entrepreneurs in Gujarat. The first workshop, as a part of the overall collaboration with the Gujarat Tribal Development Department, aims to educate and help these entrepreneurs understand the nuances of online selling and be a part of and benefit from India’s booming digital economy. Over 15% of the total population of Gujarat is tribal and consists of over 5000 artisans from across 14 districts. Through the workshop, these artisans were trained on how to sell products online and fetch an appropriate price for their unique products. These efforts by Amazon and Gujarat Tribal Development Department also aims to help raise the overall standard of living of these artisans.

Attended by around 40 tribal artisans from around Narmada, the session provided information about marketing their products online and engaged with them to leverage the benefits of online selling. Furthermore, Amazon India, through their regular interaction with these tribal entrepreneurs in the course of time, shall provide various services such as cataloging, imaging, technical guidance and support with aspects related to identifying saleable products and other promotional activities as well.

Sharing his views about the first workshop, Ravishankar, Commissioner of Tribal Development, Gujarat, said, “Our biggest challenge was to find a platform that could help us market these unique tribal products and make it available for a wide customer base. We were looking for a partner that could provide on-ground support and guidance to give visibility to these products and really make a difference to these gifted artisans & craftsmen and take advantage of the growing digital economy. And Amazon came forward with all their support to make this happen. We have been very happy with the assistance that Amazon has provided since our partnership and we look forward to providing all our support in helping uplift the lives of these tribal entrepreneurs and take their offerings to customers not only in India but also across the globe.”

Gopal Pillai, Director and GM, Seller Services, Amazon India, added, “Its overwhelming to see such a great participation by these tribal artisans for our workshop. Our aim is to train, market, sell and deliver these unique tribal products and drive disruptive change and transform the lives of these entrepreneurs across the state. This association with the Tribal Development Department of Gujarat will definitely provide impetus to the overall ecosystem of the state and boost the tribal community of Gujarat. Since our inception in India in 2013, we have enabled over 175,000 sellers to grow & scale profitably online and we look forward to positively impacting thousands more in this entrepreneurial state.”

Signed in January this year, this association between Amazon India and Gujarat Tribal Development Department intends to empower and generate livelihood opportunities and income for the tribal artisans and boost the tribal community economy. The product portfolio by these entrepreneurs include unique tribal products such as Bamboo Crafts, Warli Painting, Pithora Painting, Bhada Painting, Clay Craft, Minor Forest Produces (like Honey, Musli, Tamarind), herbal medicines, embroidery items, tribal food items which has a tremendous potential and demand in urban areas. The partnership, in accordance with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India, also aims to drive digital literacy among the numerous tribal entrepreneurs in Gujarat. The MoU will also give buoyancy to the vision of Stand-Up India, which seeks to foster the entrepreneurial spirit among the Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and women communities.

Amazon India, over the course of one year, has partnered with various government bodies like DC Handloom, Ministry of Textiles to supplement the efforts of the government to uplift artisans & SMEs across the country. The company has created specialized training modules, conducted workshops with on-ground staff and shared learning resources to help them start & grow their businesses online.

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