Walmart’s Vriddhi program is focused on helping Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) expand their domestic capabilities. That’s not quite as easy to do as it is to write.
One entrepreneur who understands that truth intimately is Chanda Sharma. She’s the owner of the Delhi Gift House in Delhi, where she sells gifts for special holidays and occasions. Her story, and her success, are triumphs. But not without tragedy.
Chanda started her business alongside her husband in 2018 just after the pair welcomed their first child. They were a team. Chanda handled the marketing, photography and product listings. Her husband interfaced with vendors and ensured the supply chain stayed well oiled.
In 2021, during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chanda lost her husband to the virus. She admits to fearing for her future: She was alone in the midst of a global pandemic, facing the demands of motherhood, a crippled economy and vendors who lacked confidence in the capacity of a woman to operate a business.
Then she got a call.
“I got a call from the Walmart Vriddhi program in June of 2021, and they asked me a simple question: ‘How is your business doing?’” Chanda remembers. “And I responded, ‘My business is inactive… and it’s been that way for three months now.”
Undaunted by the inactivity, the team at Vriddhi offered Chanda something she wasn’t expecting: support. Then things started to change.
“The team first suggested that I should consider clearing dead inventory and get some cash in hand,” Chanda said. “I reviewed my situation and decided to list combo packs of the items in my inventory on the marketplaces. After that, I really started to see some traction.”
By connecting entrepreneurs to community, learning and the Flipkart marketplace, Vriddhi opens doors to opportunity. With each learning module she completed through Vriddhi’s business course offerings, Chanda’s confidence grew.
“I felt motivated after every training session I attended,” Chanda said. “After Diwali, I cleared all my loans and backed trust from my vendors. Now, I’m in the third year of singlehandedly managing my business — and my little one.”
For Chanda, growth has meant progress. Her hard work, dedication to the process, and a willingness to learn have all paid off. She’s thriving. And she’s not slowing down.
“Since joining the Walmart Vriddhi team, my business has grown 10 times over,” Chanda said. “When I look back and think about how I reached this level, I have Walmart Vriddhi to thank.”
Looking to the future, Chanda wants to invest in a small factory so she can own the means of production. Her goal is to create her own product line – and to employ more women in India. With Vriddhi’s backing, she thinks it’s possible.
“In my family, women weren’t allowed to work, and I didn’t come from a family with a business background,” Chanda said. “If I start my own unit, I can employ more women and generate employment in my community. I can offer opportunities for artisans and weavers.”
At its core, Chanda’s greatest goal is to inspire – to build a better future for her child and her community. And she’s well on her way.
“No matter what you’re doing, give it your best. Only then can you grow,” Chanda said. “It can take time to understand, but once you do, there’s no going back.”