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Inclusive Cluster Development Key to MSME Growth

Sep 08, 2017


A programme on ‘Accelerating MSME Competitiveness through Innovation, Technology, Finance and Cluster Development' was jointly organized by MVIRDC World Trade Centre (WTC) Mumbai and All India Association of Industries (AIAI) at WTC Mumbai on September 8, 2017.

Ms. Leena Bansod, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation who was the key speaker at the event said, “Micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) face lot of challenges today. The effective strategy to address these challenges is cluster development. Small entrepreneurs and micro units must come together to build and nurture institutions by forming clusters at the grassroot level. Developing clusters creates inclusive economic growth. Clusters also create win-win situation for MSMEs, financial institutions and all the stakeholders in the value chain. Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation will facilitate the formation of clusters across various parts of the state and be an effective bridge between government and MSMEs”.

The programme featured a thought-provoking panel discussion on cluster development, improving access to finance and the importance of digital marketing, innovation and technology for MSMEs. The speakers highlighted how clusters of micro and small units can develop collective solutions on human resource management, taxation, marketing strategies and other business-related challenges.

Mr. R. Vasudevan, Senior Director – SME, CRISIL remarked,” Access to timely credit is a major challenge for MSMEs. Around 53 million MSMEs who contribute 33% to the GDP are deprived of institutional credit today”.

Ms. Rachana Bhusari, Head - SME, National Stock Exchange (NSE) gave an overview of the SME Listing Platform ‘Emerge’, which is dedicated to enable equity fund raising for MSMEs. Since its launch in 2012, around 76 MSMEs have raised more than 1,000 crore from it, Ms. Bhusari informed.

Mr. Tushar Buch, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SBI Global Factors explained how MSMEs can use factoring services to meet their supply chain financing. He pointed out saying, “Factoring is a globally preferred method of financing trade receivables. For the economy at large, it is a preferable method for MSME requirements since it transfers the risk (of transaction settlement) from the comparatively weaker MSME seller to a stronger large corporate or public sector undertaking buyer".

Mr. Promod Kumar Bakshi, Deputy General Manager, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) explained the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) and how MSMEs have benefitted under this scheme. Mr. Bakshi further informed that SIDBI Ventures, which is an associate organization has funded around 15,000 MSMEs so far.

Mr. Nitin Nahar, Associate Vice President, HDFC Mutual Fund highlighted key trends in the mutual fund industry and how MSMEs can benefit from mutual funds. He said, “Today, majority of the institutional investors in mutual fund schemes are large corporates. We need to encourage MSMEs to invest in mutual fund schemes. Mutual fund offers professional investment strategies and it assures attractive returns because of diversification”.

Speaking at the panel discussion on digital marketing and innovation, Mr. Prasad Ajgaonkar, Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Reality and Dr. Nitin Paranjape, Chief Executive Officer, Maxoffice Services remarked, “MSMEs must use technologies to enhance their operational efficiency and develop new capabilities”. Dr. Paranjape also explained how MSMEs can save cost by adopting cloud technologies to manage their finance, human resource, marketing and other functions.
Ms. Meenakshi Sapru, Deputy General Manager, Reliance Digital informed about the vendor evaluation criteria for MSME suppliers.

Ms. Harini Calamur, Lecturer, SP JAIN Institute of Management Studies and Mr. Mandar Marathe, Co-founder, BriefKase explained the importance of choosing the right digital marketing strategy for MSMEs.

Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai and President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI) said, “MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy as they produce 9,000 different products, contribute 45% to exports and 40% to manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The long pending issue of timely and adequate credit to the MSME sector still remains unresolved. Bank credit to the MSME sector has contracted 0.1%, according to the latest RBI data. We need to address this issue if India has to succeed in its ambitious programmes of Digital India, Make in India and Start-up India. Credit Rating agencies play an important role in enhancing access to institutional credit. We need to evolve different ratings methodology for assessing the credit worthiness of MSMEs. Government must also address the problem of lack of availability of skilled labour in this sector.”

In Photo: Ms. Leena Bansod, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation addressing the participants. Seated (L-R): Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai and Mr. R. Vasudevan, Senior Director – SME, CRISIL.