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New ESG Paradigms Are Creating A More Sustainable Tomorrow At Snapdeal

The pandemic tested us all in ways we never expected, at Snapdeal, it motivated us to work even harder – to help our planet, employees, and communities. For us, a clear strategic approach towards sustainable and impactful ESG development is the driving force for what lies ahead.

Being a value e-commerce platform, we want to help people achieve their aspirations and transform their lives, and we do so by building an ecosystem that is founded on trust, respect, inclusiveness, and consciousness, which are also our sustainability objectives and impact areas.

We constantly work together to build a positive impact on our environment, be it with initiatives to prevent single-use plastic at the workplace or initiatives for uplifting the lives of merchants and consumers through technology. These small steps will go a long way to build long-term value. 

Here are just a few examples of how that work has come to life in recent times:

Conserve To Preserve

We recognize that every company, no matter what business it is in, has a responsibility to minimize its environmental impact. Protecting the environment by focusing on environmental sustainability measures is high on our agenda and we are building our long-term strategies and business operations to adapt to that future accordingly. 

Our outlook is aligned with India’s Nationally Determined contributions of lowering emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% compared to 2005 levels by 2030. To reduce our carbon footprint and conserve energy. We have chosen energy-efficient office space and implemented energy-saving measures in the physical office space. We have opted for an STT facility for our data centers that follows the Green Building Standards as per the certification issued by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and uses water-cooling techniques and evaporative-cooling for reduced energy consumption.

This cuts the carbon emissions of our data center and effectively reduces our cost of energy to help promote pro-environment practices. By using Google Workspace and Salesforce on Cloud, we are already more carbon-free and using sustainable systems. 

Committing To Inclusion & Community Efforts

We worked to address technology inequities and create educational and career opportunities for those who need it. 

In our bid to minimize the learning gaps in children due to COVID, we joined hands with Khan Academy for a digital learning program for students in classes 1-10 in English, Hindi, and Kannada. As part of the program, we provided 100% free access to online academic resources and interactive learning materials for children of seller partners and their friends and family, via a dedicated online platform for seller partners.

With electronic and digital literacy becoming vital to our economy, Snapdeal has been working with  various industry partners and government bodies to promote digitization. This year, we signed an MoU with FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) to enable India’s women-led small and medium businesses (SMBs), to launch an online program to easily digitize their operations and bring their businesses online. As part of the program, we conducted online training, workshops, and induct them into selling online.

We educated participants about building their own brands, essentials of selling online including cataloging, writing product descriptions, inventory, and order management. 

We participated in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s Eat Right India’ Movement led by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), to drive awareness about the “+F” mark that identifies fortified foods and educate consumers about the importance of fortified foods in fighting malnutrition. These customized information stickers were prominently displayed on Snapdeal orders which reach 92 percent of India’s towns and cities.

Putting People First 

Our users, sellers, and employees – all are critical to our overall success and from time to time we undertake a range of initiatives to meet their evolving needs. 

With more Indians shopping online and increasingly from Tier 2 and 3 cities,  we want to make online shopping a simple and fuss-free experience for our users who are relatively new to e-commerce. Some of the ways in which we are simplifying e-commerce for them include:

Enabling Users To Browse & Buy In Their Local Language.

This is especially convenient for non-English speaking customers as well as first-time online shoppers from smaller cities. The Snapdeal app and m-site are available in multiple Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Marathi, to engage with customers, interact with and support them to make online shopping easy for them.

We have also expanded our customer support services in eight Indian languages, including Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali, in addition to Hindi and English.

  • We introduced user-friendly policies like free shipping, with no minimum purchase needed in addition to our  easy return and refund policies.
  • Most customer disputes usually get settled within days of a consumer grievance being expressed. However, some grievances which end up in Courts take years to resolve. To enable a quick resolution of such disputes we have initiated our participation in an Online Dispute Redressal Program.
  • Snapdeal has partnered with SAMA, which uses technology and a network of skilled legal professionals to amicably and time efficiently resolve disputes. During the pilot program, called “Sama Suljhao Manch”, disputes which ordinarily take anywhere between 2-3 years as they wind their way through the Courts, were settled within a mere 15 days. For us, this is an opportunity to make the settlement of a dispute equally simple as buying online. 

Not just for our users, we are also making selling easy for our seller partners. With Jaldi Payments, we ensured that our sellers received payments within 3 days of the delivery of their shipment.

This slashed payment receipt time by 76% and enabled them to redeploy the capital to expand their business, build inventory, and more.

Closer to home, as our office opens up for people to work, we have offered new mothers the option to work from home for six months, in addition to six months of statutory maternity leave, keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic and apprehensions that new mothers may have while returning to the office.

Clear Governance & Transparency In Operations

At Snapdeal we have built a clear and ambitious future-facing sustainability vision for ourselves, which we will continue to incorporate across the company through clear governance and decision-making, transparent reporting, and proactive engagement with our stakeholders.

We strive to set high benchmarks of corporate governance. Despite not having any statutory requirement, we have been getting quarterly audits conducted from a Big 4 for the last seven years.

We also recently strengthened our board with industry stalwarts who bring in strong expertise in sustainability, governance, public policy, and building enduring businesses and well-known brands in India. With Kaushik Dutta, Richa Arora, Anisha Motwani, and K Ullas Kamath coming on board, their rich experiences and knowledge will further shape Snapdeal’s journey that has taken e-commerce beyond just brands and urban consumers to deep into the smaller cities and towns across Bharat.

We believe the best is yet to come – for our users,  our society, and our planet. We’re here to imagine and to innovate for the future.

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