Madhav Lal, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, discussed the intent of the Government of India and the Ministry of MSME to lead Indian MSMEs on a high growth path. After highlighting the role played by MSMEs in the economic landscape of the country, he spoke about the dual role that the Ministry of MSME plays in assisting MSMEs in terms of providing them with a supportive framework through policy advocacy and by bringing about institutional reforms in areas of policy vacuum including taxation reform, regulatory systems’ reforms, finance provisioning reforms, etc. He shed some light on the recent initiatives of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for support to MSMEs. The most significant measures include the Make in India initiative, Skill India for skill development, Digital India for ICT interventions, etc. He also made a mention of the announcements in the Union Budget 2014-15 for the provision of a Rs 10,000 crore venture capital fund and a Rs 200 crore technology centres fund, accreditation of enterprises in this sector, virtual clusters, online filing of EM I and II, incubation centres, etc. These initiatives make it clear that the government is focused on supporting the MSMEs. He illustrated the need for identifying important verticals within this sector with differing interests with regards to government’s policy interventions and highlighted the merits of adopting a focused approach to benefit these verticals. Madhav Lal inaugurated the 11th edition of Global SME Business Summit 2014 held recently in New Delhi.
R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India in his keynote address, disclosed the role played by MSMEs in assisting Maruti Suzuki in its journey to become the biggest car manufacturing company. He spoke about the diversity of opportunities evolving in the auto components sector for MSMEs. He discussed the role played by Maruti in cluster development, skill formation, etc. He also added that, to make the PM’s call to grow manufacturing a reality different rules and incentives need to be devised for MSME’s working as vendors to modern manufacturing. A capital investment based criteria is inappropriate and in fact creates a disincentive to improving technology, productivity, quality and reducing costs. He said that industry will not become competitive if this persists. This applies not only to auto but aerospace, capital goods, power generating and transmission equipment, consumer durables and so on. The entire package of incentives should lead to enhancing competitiveness of manufacturing, and upgrade of all aspects of their work, commented Bhargava.
The report “The New Wave Indian MSME: An Action Agenda for Growth” was released by Madhav Lal at the session. This report suggests an alternative framework for the definition of MSMEs. This report outlines relevant recommendations for an opportunity framework built around five growth enabling pillars comprising: infrastructure, regulatory framework, funding, performance incentives and skill India. It also contains global best practises and is in line with the government’s vision of policy incentives for the MSME sector in India.
Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UK India Business Council, emphasized on building a healthy India UK SME partnership. She explained that through improvements in factors like gaining access to networks and contacts; establishing a dialogue and building a relationship with actors in the market; navigating unfamiliar business environments, including differences in language and culture; procedural barriers such as product standards and other aspects of the legal and regulatory framework; assessing the competitive environment and identifying potential opportunities and risks; etc., the small and medium enterprises of both countries can be enabled to explore and expand their businesses in each other’s domain.
T T Ashok, Co-Chairman, CII National SME Council, shared about the various features of the session which include 8 sectoral sessions on emerging sectors with relevance for SME penetration and internalization, 6 country sessions to explore cross-border partnership opportunities of mutual benefit, the India SME expo showcasing 50 national as well as international SMEs, their products and services and a special National Vendor Development Program with leading CPSEs in India to enable Public Sector Enterprises to identify suitable vendors in the MSE category and to provide SMEs with an opportunity to interact with these CPSEs and cement long term partnerships. He added that looking ahead, the challenge lies in building the next generation of SMEs that will collectively function as the powerhouse of the global economy. To achieve this, governments and industry around the world would need to make many collaborative efforts to create conducive eco-systems for MSMEs within their respective geographies and across regions.