Shillong: With an aim to promote and protect the livelihood of rural and micro entrepreneurs in Meghalaya, a few local youths in Jowai have now taken it upon themselves to come up with a local online aggregator platform, ‘Omechan’, with the tag line, ‘Market for everything local’.
The portal was launched on Saturday on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day in the presence of Jowai MLA Wailadmiki Shylla. The platform’s goal is to give hope to local entrepreneurs who have been badly affected due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Russel Nongrum, the head of Omechan, said, “The idea of starting the new business aggregator online platform in Jaintia Hills region came after we noticed how the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected the local and rural economy of artisan, food producer, farmers etc….”
He also added that behind Omechan there is a small group of young motivated people working together to make a difference for themselves, and also to help boost the economy and improve the livelihood of our rural folk.
Nongrum also worked to provide essential commodities via www.syllad.com/store during the initial stages of lockdown where more than 1,000 households were provided with essential goods via the platform with a business volume of 6 lakh only during the initial lockdown period. The endeavour has also helped him connect with more than 100 farmers from Thadlaskein and Laksein C&RD block of West Jaintia Hills, which eventually lead to the birth of Omechan.
Nongrum is a journalist turned entrepreneur with a keen interest in building relationship with local farmers and artisans.
Prior to the launch, a one-day workshop on online selling for local entrepreneurs was also held. The workshop saw a good participation inspite of the pandemic.
Addressing the launch event, Shylla urged the entrepreneurs to make use of this platform. “Artisans, handicraft, weaver and etc are requested to register with Omechan to be able to sell their product online to enhance their income,” said Shylla.
Society for Urban Rural Empowerment (SURE) secretary Rev HH Mohrmen said, “The future is online and as entrepreneur should look beyond the traditional market by trying to make use of online avenues available.”
He added that on behalf of SURE, he extended support towards making this endeavour a success.