GRAND FINALE! MSME National Summit and Awards 2021: ‘Government promptly announced several packages for the industry in difficult times’

 The MSME National Summit and Awards emphasised exploring new opportunities for small businesses

•Updated: August 27, 2021 19:28 pm

The micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector has made a significant contribution on many fronts of the country's economy. But there has been a lot of pressure on this sector during the challenging period of the COVID. So we tried to understand the difficulties of the industries through the MSME National Summit and Awards. At the same time, the emphasis was laid on exploring new opportunities for small businesses. We surveyed key sectors to know the pulse of industries and tried to handhold MSMEs together with industry leaders.

The summit started with the auto components sector. The auto component industry is spread in different parts of the country. And MSMEs also have a strong stake in this industry. During the event, industry leaders discussed various aspects related to the domestic, export, and aftermarket segments, ranging from preparations for Industry 4.0.

Similarly, the leather footwear industry has an important contribution to the economy of the country. India's leather industry also has a distinct identity in the world. Speaking of earning foreign exchange, the leather footwear industry is among the top 10 in the country. The next event of the MSME National Summit and Awards was on the Leather Footwear Industry. From digital transformation to new export markets were discussed.

Then the next program of the series was on a sector that has its roots in rural and urban areas. Yes, handicraft industry. An industry that gives the city its identity through its products. As an artisan, there is also large participation of women in the handicraft industry on the employment front. The program brainstormed on the changing business style on various dimensions of the handicraft industry. Simultaneously, the journey from the village to the global was also discussed.

India is one of the major producers of cotton. And the country has made its mark in garments and textiles sourcing. Meanwhile, in the textile sector, India is facing a lot of competition in the global market. So, our next program was focused on the textile sector. It discussed various schemes of the government, from value-added products to expensive yarns and industry on the front of Mega Investment Textile Park.

Now we are talking about a sector that is playing an important role in the rural economy. We are talking about the food processing industry. This is the industry that is emerging as a sunrise sector. Our next show focused on the food processing industry. During the program, various aspects of Production Linked Incentives (PLIs) were discussed. On the other hand, with the challenges of the industry and the opportunities present in it, from the cold storage infrastructure to the changing mindset of the customers, the view was kept.

After discussing the pulse of various sectors in the MSME National Summit and Awards, we focused on some major states. The separate program of the series has been focused on a state which has made a name for itself in the field of sports. We also held a special session with the Deputy CM of Haryana, and Industry and Commerce Minister Dushyant Chautala on how MSMEs are being encouraged in the state.

During the event, we discussed the challenges MSMEs are facing in the state, ranging from new opportunities, as well as Ease of Doing Business to job reservation law. Chautala also included suggestions from leading MSME centers in the state.

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After Haryana, we turned to the young state of Telangana. MSMEs play an important role in the economy of Telangana. There are about 26 lakh MSMEs working in the state, which are providing employment opportunities in the state on a large scale. During the program, we brainstormed on the policies of the state with Principal Secretary Commerce and Industry as well as Principal Secretary Information Technology (IT) Jayesh Rajan.

We discussed technology to exports, skilling to delayed payments in this series. At the same time, the suggestions of some prominent MSMEs of the state were also included.

MSME conducted many special sessions in the grand finale of the National Summit and Awards 2021. In the first session, Dr. HP Kumar, Director, External Affairs, Power2SME; Suryakant Sawant, General Manager, MSM & Retail Credit, Bank of Maharashtra; K Rama Devi, President, Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP) with Abhishiyant Anasapurapu, Head Marketing, Multi Versus Technologies took part.

Commenting on the steps taken by the government as a relief for MSMEs in the second wave of the COVID during the session, Dr. Kumar of Power2SME said that the COVID and the lockdown caused a lot of difficulties in the industry, especially in the MSME sector. Due to this, the production was also affected, which also caused huge losses. He said that in difficult times, the government promptly announced several packages for the industry. The relief measures were appreciating, but MMMEs was not completely relieved by these packages. Especially to those units which were not already taking loans from banks.

The Central Government had announced the Emergency Credit Facility Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to provide relief to MSMEs. Commenting on the issue of ECLGS, Sawant of the Bank of Maharashtra, said that the scheme is in the form of a collateral loan. Most of the units have taken advantage of this. He informed that about 2 lakh MSME units are associated with the Bank of Maharashtra, out of which 84,000 units have availed the benefit of this scheme. We have sanctioned Rs 2,500 crore under this scheme. Meanwhile, a disbursement of Rs 2,200 crore has taken place.

Commenting on the need for support to women entrepreneurs in micro-entrepreneurs, Rama Devi of the Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP), said that the crisis of the COVID has had a huge impact on women. Micro-entrepreneurs in particular faced a lot of difficulties, whether it is on the credit front or reviving your units. The availability of a skilled workforce was also a big challenge. There is also a need to focus on womens' entrepreneurship.

Considering the communication application of enterprises, Abhishyant Anasapurapu, Head Marketing, Multi-Versus Technologies said that keeping MSME in mind, we have looked at two major factors, especially when preparing offers for the enterprise. The first is the complexity of large-scale adoption. And second, a large number of apps that meet the needs of different use cases.

Taking the matter further, he said that facilities like video calling, storage, enterprise collaboration are becoming available through apps. Also, to simplifying the process, if we see something as an integrated solution that has all these features in a safe way, then we believe that this adoption becomes much faster.

In the grand finale of the MSME National Summit and Awards 2021, A S Rajiv, MD & CEO, Bank of Maharashtra said in a message that Bank of Maharashtra's performance in the financial year 2020-21 was excellent. Meanwhile, the bank recorded a growth of 35 per cent in the loan segment of MSMEs. He informed that the bank has made major changes in the lending of MSME sector under the strategy. Under this, a Business Development Vertical was set up in the head office focusing on MSMEs. Meanwhile, the bank also actively participated in the TReDS platform.

Alka Nangia Arora, Joint Secretary, SME, had a special session with the Ministry of Micro, Enterprise and Medium Enterprises at the Grand Finale of the MSME National Summit and Awards 2021. During the program, Arora shared the views of the government on various aspects related to MSME challenges and enterprise registration. Describing the current situation of MSMEs, Arora said that the COVID-19 was bad for everyone. And it had a significant impact on MSMEs. She pointed out that the micro and small sectors work at extremely low margins. They are also part of the value chain or supply chain. So then for some reason when the supply chain is affected, its effect is also seen on them.

During the discussion, she said that the government had taken a lot of steps to provide relief to MSMEs during the first wave of the COVID. So, we all thought and assumed that things would get better. But, after the second wave of the COVID, there have been some problems. But MSMEs are being supported to overcome these problems.

Speaking on the Champions Portal, specially created for redressal of grievances of MSMEs, Arora said that during the COVID last year, we realised that a large number of MSMEs were facing difficulties. So again in May 2020, the Champions Portal was designed.

She said that the ministry has opened 68 different centers of the portal in its different offices. Around 16-17 ministries have also been added under this facility. Meanwhile, most of the banks have also been included in it. At the same time, the states have also been connected to it. During the discussion, Alka Nangia said that if MSMEs write or tell us their grievances, we try to connect with those who have grievances.

He said that the ministry has opened 68 different centers of the portal in its different offices. 16-17 Ministries have also been added under this facility. Meanwhile, most of the banks have also been included in it. At the same time, the states have also been connected to it. During the discussion, Alka Nangia said that if MSMEs write or tell us their grievances, we try to connect with those who have grievances.

The award for Outstanding Entrepreneur in the Auto Components Industry went to Sunil Arora, MD, Abilities India Pistons and Rings Limited.

The award for Outstanding Entrepreneur in Leather and Footwear Industry was given to Puran Davar, Chairman, Davar Group.

Similarly, the award for the best entrepreneur in the handicraft industry went to Manish Mehta, MD, Fortune Exports.

While the award for the best entrepreneur in the textile industry was given to N. Thirukumaran, CEO, Esstee Exports.

Rohit Sareen, Director, Sareen Impex, was awarded the Outstanding Entrepreneur Award in the Food Processing Industry.

The award for Best Entrepreneur from Haryana went to Rajiv Chawla, Chairman, I am SME of India.

The Best Entrepreneur Award from Telangana was given to Venkat Jasti, Chairman & CEO, Suven Life Sciences.

Acer won the award for the best laptop brand in the business segment. Acer India's Chief Business Officer Sudhir Goyal received the award.

Bank of Maharashtra was awarded the Outstanding Banking Partner Award for MSMEs. Bank of Maharashtra Executive Director (ED) Hemant Kumar Tamta received the award.

The MSME National Summit and Awards 2021 also had a session with Gaurav M Dhahake, CEO of Bit BNS.

Expressing his views on the aspect of handling MSMEs on the front of digital transformation during the session, Bit BNS CEO Gaurav M Dhahake said that there are many interesting things to be seen in the MSME sector. Significant changes were felt in the market. For example, if the markets were closed during the lockdown, then online shopping took place.

People are displaying their catalogs. It can be shared on WhatsApp through technology. He said that this is a kind of quick trend. However, it was expected to happen in 5-7 years. But the COVID has sped it up. Whereas, we see that a lot of tools are being developed for such companies.

While discussing the trends in the Indian market of crypto, Dhahake said that the way people are investing, they are becoming quite mature. Five years ago, till 2016-17, he said that a lot of impulses were being invested during this time. Meanwhile, during the year 2020-21, many people have actively shifted to the crypto market and equity market. These people are seeing possibilities in it in different forms. On the other hand, referring to crypto globally, Dhahake said that Japan and the United States have taken a progressive stance on it.

The MSME National Summit and Awards 2021 series was conducted by Saurabh Manchanda, SME Editor, Zee Business. The MSME NATIONAL SUMMIT and AWARDS 2021 presenting partner is Amazon, Co-powered by Pharmeasy and Intel, Crypto Exchange partner is BitBns, Domain partner is Godaddy, Laptop partner is Dell, Logistics partner is DHL, and Special partner is Teamology.