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Structured support to MSMEs can pave way for business growth

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of Indias socio-economic development.

86 pc Indian firms see positive relationship between sustainability & profitability: Report

86 pc Indian firms see positive relationship between sustainability & profitability: Report

New Delhi, June 28 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of Indias socio-economic development.

With 63 million MSMEs creating 111 million jobs in India, the sector is the second largest employment creator and a significant contributor to the country's Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

But when the pandemic toppled the entire Indian economy, the sector was adversely affected with a substantial 8.3 per cent decline in the growth rate. As the sector is on the road to recovery post-pandemic, digitization-induced structured support to MSMEs is essential to expansion of the business in the coming years.

Keeping the same in view, the global not-for-profit Wadhwani Foundation and its SME-led initiative, Wadhwani Advantage, on the occasion of International MSME day said that small businesses need to adapt to new market dynamics, be it in terms of confidence in their product lines or maintaining a competitive pricing to grow and flourish.

As the access to cost-effective finance is mainly digital, it is essential for SMEs to pick up digital skills to turn their business profitable. Without digitisation, the growth of the sector in the future seems difficult. Upskilling and reskilling the workforce in the sector will provide access to broader sets of suppliers and customers, better payment systems, and broader market visibility.

All these factors will allow them to scale the ladder of success while eliminating manual inefficiencies. At present there is also a need for micro-enterprises to mature into small enterprises and the small into mid-size SMEs.

Speaking on the occasion Sanjay Shah, Chief Operating Officer, India/SE Asia, Wadhwani Foundation said: "Structured support to MSMEs in post-pandemic times will largely be driven by their adoption of digitization, leading to larger collaborative ecosystems, broader sets of suppliers and customers, and better payment systems that fast become the path for business growth."

"The Wadhwani Advantage initiative is working on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through a growth focus program for larger SMEs and a DIY (Do-it-Yourself) program to scale-up small SMEs. Both these programs will be augmented with virtual helpdesk support for SMEs. In addition, we are also launching a Wadhwani Advantage community platform that is meant to provide an SME Social Network for peer-to-peer networking and connects to advisors and customers," Shah added.

The MSME sector faces several challenges which delays its growth like inadequate infrastructure, lack of access to capital, low productivity, and dearth of innovation. All these factors make it difficult for approximately 99 per cent of the MSMEs to grow.

As a result they remain micro in their life cycle despite having great potential to excel in the sector.

Discussing the importance of the MSME sector and its contribution in the Indian economy, Samir Sathe, Executive VP, Wadhwani Advantage at Wadhwani Foundation said: "MSMEs are at an inflection point in India and carry the unmet potential to grow 2x-10x. We at Wadhwani Foundation remain committed to accelerating their growth with our unique model of external curated advisor-led consulting, PMO and subsidized funding support, productized IP, and a proposed community platform that will enable SMEs to access their ecosystem, thereby facilitating a systemwide change."

As per Assocham-Crisil, India's MSME sector is expected to rebound with a 15 per cent to 17 per cent growth in revenues for the financial year ending 2022. Looking at the data, it is imperative to support the sector for strong and steadfast growth.

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