Products by grassroots innovators, outstanding traditional knowledge holders as well as student creativity based innovative products will be available to millions of customers by virtue of a new partnership between NIFientreC and Amazon India.
An MoU signed on Wednesday between NIF Incubation and Entrepreneurship Council (NIFientreC), a Technology Business Incubator (TBI) hosted by National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and Amazon India for online distribution of the product of grassroots innovations, student creativity based innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge-based ready to market products.
NIFientreC was established in 2015 with financial support from the DST for incubation and commercialisation of technological ideas and innovations of grassroot innovators, outstanding traditional knowledge holders and students across the country.
This MoU between Amazon, and NIFientreC, follows just a couple of days after the declaration of 16th January, 2022 as the National Start-up Day by the Prime Minister of India and the announcement that the current decade would be the ‘techade’ of India to take the start-up culture to the far-flung rural areas of the country.
The MoU signed by Rakesh Maheshwari, Executive Director, NIFientreC and Sumit Sahay, Director, Amazon Seller Services will help strengthen the commercial dissemination of the innovative products from local startups and boost India’s startup culture in line with these announcements.
Speaking on the occasion, 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 grassroot entrepreneurs to consider taking their innovations directly to the consumers all over India.”
Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Amazon India said, “The partnership with NIFientreC is aimed at bringing the benefits of digitisation and e-commerce to grassroot entrepreneurs and taking forward the student innovations from rural areas to sell to millions of Amazon customers in India and across the globe.
“It is a milestone in India’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, and grassroot innovators will be brought closer to the consumers than ever before. This is an inclusivity paradigm that the rest of the world may want to replicate,” said Dr Vipin Kumar, Director, NIF.
The MoU will accelerate the grassroot innovation delivery to the common people of the country, boosting the rural economy and creating livelihoods. It will empower innovators from the deepest pockets of the country to leverage the benefits of inclusive e-commerce.
While the product offerings by mainstream entrepreneurs and those offered by start-ups turned unicorns are not new, the partnership will make innovations that are being done in rural India and stem from common people’s wisdom, available universally. The consumers will benefit by getting more choices, and since these innovations have their genesis in addressing an unmet need in a particular locality, they can initiate a journey towards providing inclusive innovations to society and the world at large.
Post successful onboarding of these businesses, Amazon will also create a storefront to boost the discoverability of these rural innovations among customers.
Additionally, through this collaboration, both NIFientreC and Amazon would ensure a capacity building of grassroot innovators regularly through masterclasses, workshops, and other interactive training programmes by engaging industry and subject matter experts so that they can march ahead in the start-up movement of the country at par with rest of the nation. They will be periodically trained on fundamental aspects of being a successful e-commerce participant so that upon getting onboarded, they can be self-reliant, create visibility for their products, generate demand, and respond to it to have them reach even at the last mile.
Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Public Policy, Amazon; Veeresh Singh, CEO, NIFientreC; Sumit Sahay, Director, Selling Partner Services, Amazon India and Tushar Garg, Scientist, NIF were also present on this occasion
The MoU signing was followed by a workshop for the grassroot innovators and entrepreneurs supported by NIFientreC with trainers from Amazon so that they could take a deep dive into the contemporary useful concepts of e-commerce and keep pace with the changing times of distribution mechanisms.