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CII-WhatsApp tie-up to train Indian SMEs

CII provides technology support to SMEs


CII provides technology support to SMEs


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The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is working with WhatsApp to educate and train small-medium business owners (SMEs) and entrepreneurs on how the WhatsApp Business app can help them connect with their customers and grow their businesses.

WhatsApp and CII are working to enhance business communication for Indian SMEs through CII’s SME Technology Facilitation Centre which was set up in November 2016, with the objective of creating awareness amongst SMEs in India on technological solutions that can be optimally adopted to enhance their overall competitiveness.

There are on-ground trainings around the country to explain the features and best practices on the App. In addition to this, business owners located in the hinterland have the opportunity to attend training webinars to help them grow and expand their businesses. The training material is available on the CII SME website (

According to a survey demonstrating the economic impact of WhatsApp in India, 70% of SMEs on WhatsApp in India say that they built their business on the platform and 78% of these SMEs say they have increased sales because of WhatsApp.

Until the launch of the WhatsApp Business app earlier this year, small businesses didn’t have a formalized way to use WhatsApp to connect with their customers.

Speaking on the occasion, Neerja Bhattia, Executive Director, CII said: “CII SME Technology Facilitation Centre is CII’s initiative to provide latest technology support to SMEs in India. It’s operating as a one-stop solution centre, summating different upgraded and latest technology from our multiple large technology partners with an aim to enhance access to technology for Indian SMEs and create technical literacy amongst them.

“The Centre also provides an opportunity to its technology partners to expand their market and reach out to SMEs spread throughout the country with their product and services.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ben Supple, Public Policy Manager at WhatsApp, elaborated: “Whether it’s a chai stand or saree shop, small businesses are at the heart of vibrant communities and the engine that makes the Indian economy grow, and by partnering with CII, we’re committed to helping SMEs achiceve success.

“Small businesses need to meet their customers where they are, and in India, that’s on WhatsApp. With the WhatsApp Business app, small businesses can easily and efficiently connect with their customers, and we’ll be introducing new features in the future to continue helping them grow.”

Launched in January 2018, the WhatsApp Business app was developed to improve SMEs’ communications with their customers, by creating an official presence for those companies in the app and enhancing their customer care, with specific tools to make communicating with customers easier and more efficient. More than three million people are already using the WhatsApp Business app worldwide.

Together, WhatsApp and CII will develop informative content to be distributed among entrepreneurs both in physical and digital formats, addressing the advantages of the professional use of WhatsApp Business and promoting the creation of networks for knowledge sharing.

WhatsApp will also give workshops to CII team members across the state, to expand content dissemination and offer local support for cities across India. The partnership started on 29 October with a training in Pune and is expected to reach small and medium businesses along with start-ups and members of CII.

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