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WhatsApp Launches SMBSaathi Utsav ; WhatsApp India, GoI Join Hands to Leverage Chatbot for Non-Covid Use-Cases

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WhatsApp India has launched the SMBSaathi Utsav initiative to help small businesses use digital media like the WhatsApp Business App to handle their business.It was launched in partnership with social media platform Josh Talks, with the goal of educating and assisting small businesses in realising their full potential using WhatsApp.

  • The SMBSaathi Utsav is the second phase of WhatsApp’s SMBSaathi campaign, which was launched in early 2022.

Reason For Such an Initiative – To help small/medium business recover from the pandemic. The initiative featured inspiring stories of company owners throughout India who switched to digital means of doing business during the pandemic.

Significance of SMBSaathi Utsav:

i. WhatsApp has launchedthe pilot programme SMBSaathi Utsav in Jaipur’s (Rajasthan) Johri Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, where around 500 small businesses are being trained on various aspects of running their businesses online.

ii.The goal of these trainings is to teach business owners how to use the WhatsApp Business App to better manage incoming leads and queries, create product/service showcases, and promote to key audiences utilising online tools

iii. As part of the initiative, businesses from a variety of industries are being trained, including traditional arts and handicrafts, jewellery, fashion and apparel, food and beverage outlets, and others.

Note: Approximately 63 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) exist in India, accounting for 30% of the country’s (Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing more than 110 million people.

WhatsApp India, GoI Join Hands to Leverage Chatbot for Non-Covid Use-Cases

i.Following the widespread use of the WhatsApp chatbot during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020–2022), WhatsApp India and the Government of India (GoI) have announced plans to expand the bot’s features to include dedicated medical opinion for online cancer consultation and patient electronic history capturing.

  • X-Ray Setu, an automated solution that aids in the interpretation of chest X-rays from low-resolution images shared via WhatsApp, is also in development.

ii.Over the last two years, the WhatsApp Business Platform has collaborated with MyGov and the Union Health Ministry to create a WhatsApp Helpdesk.

  • WhatsApp Business Platform has worked with MyGoV and the Union Health Ministry over the last two years to build WhatsApp Helpdesk on WhatsApp.

iii.The platform has been used to book appointments, locate vaccination and testing centres, resolving medical queries, doctor consultations for general illnesses as well as COVID-19.

  • The DigiLocker services were enabled at the bot in January 2022, and they began with some of the most sought-after public documents.


  • The chatbot has a conversational interface, and obtaining these papers is simple because the instant messaging network is utilised by over 500 million Indians.
  • The chatbot is available in 14 states in regional languages in addition to Hindi and English.
  • It was created with the intention of booking vaccination appointments and downloading immunisation certificates, but it has since expanded into a one-stop shop for accessing a wide range of official documents.
  • Citizens will be able to download their driver’s licence, tax returns, insurance certificates, and Class X/XII-mark sheets as a result of this.