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Friday,25-September-2020

Business

Facebook India grants Rs 32 crore to help 3,000 small businesses

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Facebook

Facebook India on Tuesday announced a grant of $4.3 million (Rs 32 crore) for more than 3,000 small businesses in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

The grant, that includes both cash and ad credits with cash constituting a larger share, is part of a $100 million global grant for small businesses Facebook announced in March this year as Covid-19 pandemic began to spread globally.

“The grant programme is open to small businesses from all industries and verticals, and businesses do not need to have a Facebook family of apps presence in order to apply. They are also free to do what they wish to do with this grant,” Ajit Mohan, MD and VP, Facebook India, said in a statement.

Facebook and Instagram also launched capabilities for businesses to drive the discovery and sale of Gift Cards.

“Gift cards will help small businesses reach more potential customers online. They will also help small businesses to get cash flow when they need it the most, and even when physical stores might be shut,” Mohan said.

Configuring gift cards on Facebook and Instagram is free for businesses.

Facebook also released India findings of the ‘State of Small Business Report’, an ongoing research collaboration between Facebook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank to survey SMBs globally, including India, in the context of Covid-19.

According to the survey, more than a third of operational SMBs on Facebook India expect cash flow to be a challenge in the next few months.

Nearly 41 per cent of operational SMBs on Facebook India reported that at least a quarter of their sales are made digitally.

More than half of operational SMBs on Facebook India also said they feel optimistic about the future of their business.

According to Facebook, 180 million small businesses globally use the Facebook family of apps to reach potential customers and build their business.

It means, for every 45 people in the world, there is a small business present on the Facebook family of apps.

“The 60 million small businesses in India are a key growth driver for the economy, fueling innovation and disruptive business models,” Mohan noted.

The social media giant in April announced to pour in Rs 43,574 crore for a 9.99 per cent slice in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)-led Jio Platforms, underlining its commitment to India and especially small businesses.

Business

Flipkart Wholesale expands footprint to 12 new cities

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Flipkart

Digital business-to-business marketplace Flipkart Wholesale on Thursday said it has expanded its operations to 12 new cities ahead of the festive season.

Flipkart Wholesale will now be operational in Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Mysuru, Chandigarh Tricity, Meerut, Agra, Jaipur, Thane-Bhiwandi-Ulhasnagar, Greater Mumbai, Vasai-Virar-Mira-Bhayanadar, Thane (Kalyan-Dombivli) and Thane (Navi Mumbai).

Expanding with the fashion category in these cities, Flipkart Wholesale said it is looking to digitally transform kiranas and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to help them grow faster, retain their customers, and improve their profitability.

“As we enter the festive season, we are excited to be scaling up our offerings across 12 cities, aiming to create more opportunities for MSMEs and Kiranas,” Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head – Flipkart Wholesale, said in a statement.

“From trendy Jaipuri Kurtis to evergreen Mysuru silk saris, we aim to help small businesses embrace the digital transformation and emerge as more robust businesses,” Menon added.

By this year-end, Flipkart Wholesale also plans to expand into categories such as home and kitchen, and grocery.

Flipkart Wholesale said its customers will have access to easy credit facilities in partnership with leading banks and non-banking financial companies to manage cash flow.

E-commerce platform Flipkart first announced the launch of Flipkart Wholesale’s operations earlier this month.

At the time of the launch, the platform was available for fashion retailers, especially footwear and apparel, in Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru.

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Business

Nepal-China border point reopens after 3-week closure

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Nepal’s Chinese conundrum: The imbalance and debt trap.

The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point between Nepal and China reopened on Thursday after it remained closed for around three weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior customs official said here.

The border point, which is one of the key trade routes between the two country, was closed after a Nepali worker tested positive for the novel coronavirus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier, it reopened in early July after it was closed for nearly six months firstly due to snowfall in the bordering Chinese region and later because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Two containers of medical goods entered into Nepal after the reopening of border point on Wednesday,” senior customs officer at Rasuwagadhi, Punya Bikram Khadka told Xinhua.

“Now, we hope the movement of goods will take place normally.”

According to the officer, there has been a restricted flow of goods through this border as both countries have adopted zero human-to-human contact policy between the two sides until the pandemic is over.

The Tatopani-Zhangmu, another border point, which reopened in late March after closing in January, has also remained shut for the last few months.

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Business

Imports fall leads to New Zealand’s largest trade surplus in 6 yrs

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Trade

New Zealand imports fell nearly NZ$1 billion ($650 million) in August, leading to the country’s largest annual trade surplus since 2014, the Stats NZ said on Thursday.

The NZ$1.3 billion annual goods trade surplus reflected a rise in exports and a fall in imports over the past months, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

“The recent falls in imports and growth in exports resulted in an annual trade surplus not seen since the strong 2013-2014 dairy export season, when product prices were high,” senior analyst Nicholas Cox said in a statement.

Imports of crude oil, cars, and other vehicles were much lower than usual in recent months after the Covid-19 pandemic, Cox said.

New Zealand’s demand for fuel dropped due to the international and domestic travel restrictions, which were put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

During the lockdown in April, imports of vehicles were particularly affected by international trade restrictions and the closure of vehicle dealerships as non-essential businesses, he added.

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