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Innovative SMEs to drive Indian economy: CII

Mar '08
Mr. Jawahar Sircar, Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner (MSME), Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), emphasized the importance of this sector, with a total size of US$140 billion, as the driving force for the long term growth of the Indian economy.

The MSMEs are a vital part of the Indian economy contributing over 45% of the country's industrial production and around 40% of the total exports. Thirteen million MSMEs in India employ over 31 million people.

The government has identified three thrust areas for increasing competitiveness in this area: technology (including quality), skills development and finance.

Of the three, technology and quality were crucial, and he spoke of how companies – more than 15,000 have been assisted in obtaining ISO certification.

He also spoke of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme, which has ten components in various stages of approval. Six of these, he said, concentrate on quality.

Quality and Innovation was also emphasized by Dr Surinder Kapur, Chairman, Manufacturing Innovation Mission, CII and Chairman and Managing Director, Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd.

He spoke of CII's efforts to introduce quality and innovation in Indian MSMEs through 'clustering' of companies to learn about these areas.

“In the long term it will be innovative SMEs which will drive transformation. CII has 131 clusters impacting more than a thousand SME's,” he said

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Ramesh Datla, Chairman, CII SME Forum and Managing Director, ELICO Ltd, said, that while the MSMEs have been globally recognized as a priority growth sector for growth and development, there is still a lack of clear developmental agenda and program of action for MSMEs for various reasons.

Any future agenda, he said, needs to encourage the development of SMEs in an environment of increased economic interdependence and open regionalism.

Confederation of Indian Industry

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