In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Kumar highlighted the opportunities and the needs of the hour for MSMEs.
How do you look at the present time for Indian MSMEs?
I feel that it the present is the best time for SMEs. We have plenty of opportunities today for SMEs. Government agencies are becoming more pro-active towards creating an SME-friendly environment. An agile approach towards SMEs has been taken up by policy-makers and institutions. The prime minister’s task force on MSMEs is a great example of how sensitive the top-level policy-makers are towards this sector. The ultimate aim is to bring out the best possible motivation for entrepreneurs, so that they may prepare themselves to capitalise on the several opportunities available to them.
What are the areas that MSMEs need to work on?
Most MSMEs in India need to work on areas like skill development, capacity building and marketing with an innovative approach. Finance and credit are two areas in which MSMEs need more professional grooming. Considering the number of opportunities available to these units today, entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves in a holistic manner, and need all-round grooming.
Why do you think MSMEs have not been able to achieve the desired level of growth, despite the availability of several schemes, incentive programs and policies for their benefit?
We are doing our best in coming up with policies, schemes and guidelines that help MSMEs, but, ultimately, all schemes are demand-driven. The entrepreneurs have to take the initiative of seeking support regarding such programs. They have to prepare themselves as per the guidelines. Awareness campaigns are on, and we constantly participate on public platforms and seminars to improve the awareness level of the community. However, ultimately, the initial steps have to be taken by the entrepreneurs themselves.
NSIC is aggressively working towards enhancing the marketing capabilities of MSMEs. What is your experience in this regard?
It is extremely important for entrepreneurs to understand the changes that are happening around their ecosystem. For example, there are significant changes happening around the use of online mediums for marketing. Now, MSMEs must evaluate the online medium for reaching out to their potential markets and understand its benefits. Marketing can be done through this medium in a most efficient and cost-effective manner. MSMEs do not need to open direct offices, as the market can be reached easily through the online medium. NSIC, as an agency, is proactively working on this front. We have a marketing portal that provides an effective platform for MSMEs to list their products and services and, accordingly, reach out to their potential customer base.
Secondly, we also provide market intelligence services to MSMEs. These intelligence reports are made according to the respective businesses, and can provide extremely valuable information for MSMEs who want to foray into new markets.
I believe that these are two must-have services for MSMEs. They just need to show interest in them, as well as willingness to grow.