MSME NATIONAL SUMMIT and AWARDS 2021: ‘State governments should also contribute in the plug-and-play model’

The MSME NATIONAL SUMMIT AND AWARDS 2021 will be focusing on important sectors and their challenges to combat the COVID crisis

•Updated: August 6, 2021 11:40 am

The tremor of the COVID Pandemic was felt more or less on all the businesses. At the same time, there was a lot of pressure especially on the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. The reason: the MSME sector has an important role to play in boosting the economy. 

However, these conditions were somehow different in the second wave as compared to the first wave of COVID. There was no complete lockdown-like situation in the country, rather states took the initiative and made strategies at their level to deal with the COVID Pandemic. And this was the reason factories continued to operate to some extent after following the COVID protocol. Although, entrepreneurs still faced difficulties on many fronts.

See Zee Business Live TV Streaming Below:

In such a situation, we are taking stock of various sectors in MSME NATIONAL SUMMIT and AWARDS 2021 to brainstorm the challenges of the MSME sector and find a way forward. At the same time, through these summits, we will be also honouring the Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which strived hard in the challenging times of COVID. 

In the first series of the summit, all the current challenges related to the auto components sector were discussed. In this event, we are focusing on the leather footwear sector. Eminent personalities from the leather sector participated in the programme. PR Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman, Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC) and Former Chairman, Council for Leather Exports (CLE); Puran Dawar, Chairman, Dawar Group; Rochita Dey, Director, Sreeleathers. The event was moderated by Saurabh Manchanda, SME Editor, Zee Business. 

Talking about preparing small businessmen on the technology front, PR Aqeel Ahmed, Chairman, Leather Sector Skill Council, said: “I am sure that technology will drive the future. The importance of technology is increasing day by day.” 

Similarly, there is a great need for technology as well as upgradation to increase productivity and efficiency, he added. Ahmed also said that whether it is small scale or big, our industry at present needs to be reinvested in the business with complete overhauling. 

He shared that there are about 95 per cent MSME units in our council. At the same time, only 5 per cent are big industries in this area. He said that along with earning revenue, our industry is also providing employment on a large scale. 

Speaking on the challenges in the new markets across the world, Puran Davar, Chairman, Davar Group, said that on the export front, our market is focused on Europe, where we have a share of around 3-4 per cent. He said that America is the biggest buyer of consumer goods. But we are not strong in this market. This is a major market from the point of view of business and we will have to make efforts to make inroads in this market. On the other hand, if gradually we will increase our share in the US market by 1 or 2 per cent, then its effect will also be visible in the business ecosystem. 

Referring to the growing utility of digital platforms, Rochita Dey, Director, Shree Leathers, said that there was a lot to learn during the COVID period. She said: “It took 30 years to establish the brand offline. However, this recognition of years did not translate into much in online sales. She said that instead of focusing on heavily paid advertising, we resorted to our social media platform to connect directly with the consumers.” 

The benefit of which was also seen. Dey added that if you are in the omnichannel business then every channel will have its own pulse. So, in such a situation, do not be afraid to start anything afresh. Rather, make a strategy for each channel and proceed accordingly. 

Talking about the plug-and-play model, Ahmed said that the state governments should also contribute on this front. He said that every state government should also consider the option of developing plug-and-play industrial complex. He said that through this we will also be able to attract foreign investment.