Over six decades of mentorship and relentless service for the SMEs in the region, KASSIA now has member strength of 5750 SMEs.
During an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, B.P. Shashidhar, President, KASSIA shared his views on the association, SMEs in the regions, their challenges and opportunities.
Would you give us an overview of the SMEs in the state?
Karnataka is a fertile land for small and new businesses. We have nearly 6.5 lakhs SMEs in the state accounting for the employment of at least 30 lakhs people across the state. The Small and medium businesses contribute 8 percent of Karnataka’s GDP.
What are the major industries that SMEs are venturing into?
Major SME industries in the state are engineering, automobile, machine tools, electrical, plastics, packaging, bio-tech, IT, Pharmaceuticals, wood work, leather, textiles, garments and handicrafts.
How do you define the association’s relationship with the state government and what’s your view on the recent budget?
KASSIA has been assisting the state government in formulating various policies in particular the proposed industrial policy of Karnataka which is expiring next year. On the state’s new budget, I would say the new budget has not allocated any special facilities for the small scale industries.
What are the major issues and challenges the small scale industries are faced with?
Infrastructure deficiency and poor credit flow are the two major issues the small businesses often face. Several elements of hidden charges in the cost of credit need to be addressed for the smooth functioning of SMEs. Total inadequacy of skilled and unskilled labour, low capacity utilization in existing industries, inadequate government support for government purchase to the SSIs are some of the other current issues.
How does KASSIA address these issues?
KASSIA as a collective body is taking up the problems of industries and clusters to the notice of the government and is doing necessary follow up to find relief to the several problems. As a member of about 20 organizations and institutions, KASSIA is able to reflect issues affecting the growth of small industries in the domain of the respective institutions/departments and create awareness on realistic situation and find solutions to solve the problems.