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World SME Conference receives rousing reception
Dec '08
The first Milagrow World SME Conference opened today to a massive reception. The session opened with the release of the Milagrow Knowledge Cluster Study involving 3000 MSMEs in 11 clusters conducted across 4 states. Two other research studies were also released at the conference – Milagrow Knowledge Efficacy of Govt. Backed Initiatives study and the Milagrow Knowledge Women Entrepreneurs in Hyderabad Cluster study.

Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Power & Industries and Commerce graced the occasion and enthralled the audience with his insight into the present condition of the MSME sector in India. Speaking at the conference, he said that the Incredible India campaign and the India Brand Equity Fund should have talked about some of the traditional and new strengths of the Indian industry to give a wholesome image of the country. He said that “In both the traditional and new areas of strength, the MSMEs play a very important role in the competitiveness of Indian products and services.”

Mr. V.Vaidyanathan, Executive-Director ICICI Bank talked about the how MSMEs needs to look at this slowdown as an opportunity to increase their competitiveness and learn to collaborate and compete simultaneously. He said that ICICI bank is taking pro-active measures to serve the MSME sector in these trying times.

Delivering her address on the topic “Get Skilled or Get Killed”, Ms. Sudha Pillai, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment expounded the virtues of introducing effective vocational orientation in the last few years of schooling in order train a better-skilled workforce and at the same time ensure lower drop-out rates by increasing the motivation level of students to remain in school. The tangible learning of a technical skill was motivation enough as this means that high school students to look forward to better employment opportunities on completion of schooling.

Speaking at the conference, Mr.Doug Tatum, Founding Chairman of Tatum, LLC and Author of the best seller book relevant to MSMEs - “No Man's Land” implored companies not to not get stuck in this “No Man's Land”, where a firm is too big to be small and too small to be big. He mentioned that even in this changing marketplace, the companies must execute the necessary changes required in the management and financial model of the company to attract the right talent and finance to fuel further growth.

Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Minister (Trade), High Commision of Pakistan in India, speaking at the conference said that “Pakistan today is ready to encourage investment of Indian companies into Pakistan on a case to case basis.” H.E. C R Jayasinghe, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India and H.E Durgesh Man Singh, Ambassador, Nepalese Embassy in India talked about the massive potential that SAARC nations have and how firms in the region can collaborate to take full advantage.

Earlier in the day setting the theme of the conference, Mr. Rajeev Karwal Founder Director of Milagrow Business and Knowledge Solutions articulated the need of a forum like “Get Set Grow - Milagrow World SME Conference” and how “it can emerge as a platform for deliberating, debating and creating the right atmosphere for policy makers to help India adapt the best practices in the SME environment in India.”

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