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The MeghaMart Idea


The launch of the online registry and marketing portal named MeghaMart by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma in Shillong the other day heralds the beginning of an indigenous entrepreneurship era in the Northeast as a whole. MeghaMart.com is a website created by the Meghalaya government through the Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship for listing of local enterprises and their products under the theme of ‘Made in Meghalaya’ and the overall theme of ‘Made in Northeast’. This digital platform will enable local entrepreneurs and businesses in the whole of the Northeast, and not just in Meghalaya, to reach out to markets and buyers across the world. No doubt, the intent is laudable and much-needed. This should be reckoned a godsend of sorts for those aspiring local entrepreneurs who cannot afford a physical set-up or a conventional shop to sell their innovations. Buyers of their products – which have a huge scope for innovation and market-friendly and market-centric branding – can directly contact the sellers as identified and negotiate quantities, prices, shipping etc. The launch of the portal is an offshoot of Sangma’s vision to promote and foster local enterprise and entrepreneurship by providing the aspirants a platform to showcase their products and services for a world audience. There are two takeaways here. One, this is going to create a level-playing field when it comes to the aspirations of the existing local entrepreneurs who are handicapped due to the lack of the required wherewithal to set up shops etc to sell their products. And two, this could be a huge booster to the making of indigenous entrepreneurship by way of encouraging the unemployed lot, including the educated unemployed, to aim at being self-employed rather than applying for jobs to be employees with no productivity at all. In other words, there is a huge possibility of the local economy donning a new hue. Would the other northeastern States too take a leaf out of the Meghalaya MeghaMart book and go in for such digital initiatives to tackle the ballooning scourge of unemployment and the associated societal ill-effects?