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Invest in northeast: DoNER minister to women entrepreneurs

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Guwahati: DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday invited women entrepreneurs from across the country to invest in the northeast and take the lead in developing the region as an industrial hub.

The unique advantage of any women’s initiative was that it has a wider social and public impact and also because a woman holds stake for at least three generations — her parents and in-laws, her husband and brothers, and her children, the minister said while launching the “Swayam” initiative of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) women’s wing in Guwahati.

Jitendra Singh, who is also minister of state for PMO, personnel, public grievances, pensions, atomic energy and space, said the “Swayam” initiative has already been launched in Delhi and other places, resulting in successful engagement of women in big and small self-employed vocations.

The arrival of “Swayam” in Guwahati, he said, will open a new chapter in the growth of the northeast.

At the same time, it will also open new vistas of opportunity, not only for women but for the entire population of the eight northeastern states, he said.

“In the last few months, a number of new initiatives have been undertaken by the government of India to promote business, industry and consequential job avenues in the region,” he said.

Jitendra Singh spoke about the “Organic Farming Mission”, being pursued in collaboration with the union agriculture ministry, which will not only generate business but also reinforce the identity of the region through its original products.

Similarly, he said, expansion of healthcare entrepreneurship in the region is also being worked out in a big way through private-public participation.

He said that in the health sector, some leading women entrepreneurs have come forward to set up establishments in the northeast.

Jitendra Singh said that in the contemporary society, the time has come to seek not merely employment but long-term employability, and for this, the “Swayam” initiative holds the promise to go a long way.

“In addition, when we talk of ‘Act East’ policy to do business with the countries across the eastern borders, it is imperative to generate original growth products proximal to the eastern borders within northeast so that they get takers from across the borders,” he added.

(IANS)

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Walmart, Flipkart Jointly Invest in Ninjacart Startup: Report

Based in Bengaluru, Ninjacart was founded in 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K. K., Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi

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Walmart in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Wikimedia Commons

Walmart and its Indian arm Flipkart on Wednesday jointly invested in fresh produce supply chain startup Ninjacart, to modernise fresh produce market to benefit consumers, retailers and farmers.

“As a homegrown e-commerce company, it is in our DNA to drive change and solve complex local problems in-house through technology. In Ninjacart, we see a company that shares our values, our pioneering mindset and our commitment to tech-driven innovation that improves life in India,” said Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a statement.

With the new agreement, Walmart, Flipkart and Ninjacart aim to offer better access of high quality fresh produce to more retailers and consumers in the country even as they economically empower farmers.

Ninjacart offers business to business (B2B) supply chain infrastructure and technology solutions with traceability feature.

The startup deploys sophisticated supply chain algorithms, harvesting big data, predictive analytics, mobile applications and internet of things (IoT) to propel a just in time supply chain, connecting farmers, retailers, 200 collection centres and 1,200 warehouses throughout India.

Operating paperless, Ninjacart transports up to 1,400 tonnes of fresh produce in a day, forming a link between 44,000 farmer suppliers, 60,000 kirana stores and restaurants.

Ninjacart helps reduce the transit time of produce from farms to store at ambient temperature, slashing cost and lessening food waste in India which lacks cold chain infrastructure.

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Shoppers walk in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Fairfax, Virginia. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet). VOA

With the freshly infused funds, Ninjacart will expand its customer base, geographical reach and learn global best practices to better local fresh produce ecosystem.

Additionally, partnering with Ninjacart will bolster sourcing for Walmart’s Best Price B2B cash and carry stores and Flipkart’s direct online grocery business Supermart.

Krish Iyer, president and chief executive of Walmart India said, “Ninjacart’s focus on direct-from-farm sourcing resonates well with Walmart’s commitment to supporting farmers in India.”

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Iyer said Walmart’s Best Price has set a target to source 25 per cent produce directly from farmers by 2023.

“Ninjacart wants to make food safer and more accessible, while ensuring a fair price for everyone involved. We are excited that Flipkart and Walmart are joining us to make this vision a reality,” said Ninjacart chief executive and co-founder Thirukumaran Nagarajan.

However, no financial details of the investment were disclosed by the retail giants.

Based in Bengaluru, Ninjacart was founded in 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Kartheeswaran K. K., Ashutosh Vikram, Sharath Loganathan and Vasudevan Chinnathambi. (IANS)