Expert suggest MSMEs to adopt digital technologies

Dec 03, 2020

MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai (WTC Mumbai) organised a webinar on “Reboot Trade and Connect with Global Supply Chains” jointly with Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and All India Association of Industries (AIAI) on December 3, 2020.

The webinar was addressed by Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI), Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director - MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai, Mr. Rajesh Bhagat, South Asia Consultant, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Mr. Sthiradhi Das, Senior Manager – Own Label & Exclusive Brands Infiniti Retail Limited (A Tata Enterprise) and Mr. Andy Lam, CEO and Founder, A&A Ltd., Hong Kong.

All the speakers struck a common note, which is that “MSMEs need to adopt digital technologies to participate in Global supply chain, which is realigning after the outbreak of the pandemic.”

Mr. Kalantri stressed on the need for MSMEs to be agile by adopting digital technologies to capture procurement opportunities from MNCs that want to diversify their sourcing to more reliable destinations.

He concluded his remarks by proposing to conduct more such events in future to facilitate trade and industry. Mr. Kalantri recalled that in the past, AIAI and WTC Mumbai organised conference and exhibitions jointly with their MoU partner HKTDC to support global market access of local SMEs.

In her remarks, Ms. Naik raised concern that hardly 10% of Indian MSMEs are digitally empowered and hence there is a need to support these enterprises adopt digital platforms.

Ms. Naik mentioned the recent virtual programmes conducted by WTC Mumbai to help MSMEs navigate through this challenging time. WTC Mumbai has organised several knowledge sessions and workshops in collaboration with WTC Winnipeg (Canada), WTC Trieste (Italy), WTC Metro Manila (Philippines), WTC Utah (USA) and WTCs in other regions. Ms. Naik informed about Handloom Expo, which is the unique virtual exhibition to connect local weavers and artisans to global market.

Ms. Naik informed that, in future, WTC Mumbai will conduct similar virtual exhibitions in wellness & healthcare, textile, engineering, auto-components, plastics, chemicals, agro-processing, electronic and electrical sectors.

Speaking on this ocassion, Mr. Bhagat suggested Indian MSMEs to use Hong Kong as gateway to their participation in global supply chain. He said Hong Kong is the Central Business District of Asia and it is ranked the 5th most competitive economy in the world (by IMD, Switzerland 2020).

Mr. Das concluded his remarks by raising hope that the pandemic will support domestic manufacturing in India as companies prefer to import semi knocked down (SKD) and completely knocked down (CKD) units, instead of importing completely built units (CBU).

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Lam suggested MSMEs to adopt digital technologies such as chatbots, video chats, search engine optimization and digital content management to promote their brands online.

The event was attended by more than 150 delegates representing trade & industry, academia and consular corps.