The ever-evolving world order is rapidly changing the dimensions in which businesses operate. As all businesses — big or small — are equally impacted in this new era of doing business, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) are no different, seeing significant action. Actually, it is this very environment of changing business dynamics that is creating challenges as well as opportunities for enterprises.

It is, in fact, the best time for enterpreneurs working in the MSME space to relook the various dimensions to chalk out their strategies. This can prove to be an essential step in ensuring sustainable growth in the future. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play an important role in the economy, contributing fairly and significantly to areas such as GDP, exports and job creation.

The third season of the MSME National Summit is dedicated to brainstorming a host of themes focused on emerging growth opportunities for the promising MSME space.

In today’s special session, industry leaders from Ludhiana, Jaipur and Hyderabad are focused on the foresight of the MSME industry, discussing and decoding a range of essential aspects for entrepreneurs, including domestic challenges, operational sentiment, finance, exports, e-commerce and digital transformation.

Here’s the list of panelists in today’s session:

  • Upkar Singh Ahuja, President, Chamber of Industrial & Commercial Undertakings (CICU)
  • K Rama Devi, President, Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP)
  • Dr Arun Agarwal, Executive President, Federation of Rajasthan Trade and Industry (FORTI)

Saurabh Manchanda, SME Editor, Zee Business, moderated the session.

CICU’s Upkar Singh Ahuja mentions that there is a large number of MSMEs in Ludhiana, having his finger on the pulse of the popular industrial city in Punjab. Some 75,000 registered MSMEs operating in various sectors are located in the city, manufacturing a vast range of products, he said.

Entrepreneurs are feeling the pressure in terms of exports owing to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war in Europe, Ahuja mentioned. Besides, the impact of the situation is also visible on domestic exporters amid pressure in the major export markets of Europe and the US, he added.

He also shared his views on the availability of finance and support from the banking sector for MSMEs.

Ahuja said entrepreneurs need handholding to enable them to improve their exports.

ALEAP’s K Rama Devi pointed out that e-commerce is proving to be a game-changer for MSMEs. It is creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and connecting them from local to the global chain, she said.

In the depths of the pandemic, a number of women entrepreneurs not only utilised e-commerce to keep their businesses running but also to benefit from it, Devi highlighted.

Praising the government’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative, Devi said that e-commerce has no doubt boosting digitalisation, but it is essential for enterpreneurs to undergo training to be ready for the new era. She also said that training programmes need to be simplified for women enterpreneurs in rural regions.

FORTI’s Dr Arun Agarwal pointed out that there are more than 6.5 crore registered MSMEs operating in a range of sectors in the country and more than 10 crore including the unorganised sector.

Emphasising the need to promote MSME registrations, he said that it is an important step in strengthening the single-window system in states.

Dr Agarwal also mentioned two important aspects for MSME entrepreneurs: fuel and finance. Both areas need special focus, he said.

He also said MSMEs should get credit cards, similar to the Kisan Credit Card scheme for the farming sector.