Bombay Chamber organises MSME Conclave; delves into major challenges for the sector

March 13, 2024

More access to finance, upgradation in technology and retaining talent are the major challenges facing MSME sector in India today. This was the underlying sentiment at the MSME Conclave organised by Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry recently.

Speaking at the Conclave, Ritesh Tiwari, President, Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry and CFO, Hindustan Unilever Ltd & Unilever South Asia said, “Today, there are over 63 million MSME’s spread across our country. They contribute to nearly a third of the country’s gross domestic GDP and provides for more than 40% of the country’s exports. Moreover, employing ~120 million people, the sector is a major source of employment, especially in the rural and less developed areas helping reduce regional imbalance. In ~20% of the cases, MSME’s are owned by women and in ~60% of the cases they are owned by socially disadvantaged groups contributing to inclusive growth for all.”

He added that looking forward, MSMEs have a large role to play in India achieving its ambition of being a $5 Tn economy. “The sustained growth and development of Indian MSMEs by 2030 requires a multifaceted and multi stakeholder approach. through research and development, access to affordable credit and financial inclusion, comprehensive skill development initiatives, integration into digital platforms and e-commerce, promoting ease of doing business and embracing sustainable practices,” he said.

Elaborating on the MSME findings of the 6th Economic Survey conducted by Bombay Chamber, Sandeep Khosla, Director General, Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry informed, “Nearly 60% MSMEs predict 6-7% growth and 82% feel that there will a very significant impact of the global slowdown. While 44% MSMEs encounter challenges in the area of Cash Credit, 67% rate attrition between 0-10%. As for attracting talent, 54% feel mid managerial staff hiring is the most challenging function.”

While setting the theme for the Conclave, Rajan Raje, CEO, Nichem Solutions & Chairperson- MSME Committee, Bombay Chamber said, “As the largest employers in the country (40%), the major challenges MSMEs face are technology upgradation, hiring and retaining good workforce, changing work culture and providing right environment for growth. Access to finance is the combined challenge of the above 4 aspects. MSMEs need the three Cs for going to the next level: Character, Cash flow and Collateral.”

The Conclave had several panel discussions. The first panel moderated by Aniket Malshe, Director, Nichem Solutions discussed the opportunities & requirements for MSME growth. The panelists included Satish Pandey, Chief Customer Officer – Siemens India & Country Head- Siemens Sri Lanka, Maldives, Siemens; K.R. Venkatadri, Chief Commercial Officer, Tata Chemicals; Mandar Parab, Senior General Manager – Strategic Sourcing, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bhadresh Pathak, Chief Executive, Larsen & Toubro – Sufin.

The second panel on Talent Acquisition was moderated by Dr. Leena Raje, Director, HR & Administration, Nichem Solutions and the panelists were Dr. Deven Shah, Principal, Shree L R Tiwari College of Engineering (SLRTCE); Dr. Smita Shukla, Professor and Director, Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute & Director IQAC, University of Mumbai; Dr. Nitin Joshi, Director BRIMS, Dr. V. N. Bedekar Institute of Management Studies, Thane and Dr. S. K. Ukarande, Principal, K J Somaiya College of Engineering & Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Somaiya Vidyavihar University.

The third panel on new opportunities of financing to MSMEs was moderated R. Srinivasan, Director, AIRA Consulting; Satyam Kumar, CEO & Co- Founder, LoanTap; Abhiraj Jalota, Investor, New Heights Financial Services; Bijoy Thapilal – EVP & Head (Small Enterprises Asset Group), Axis Bank; Jay Kumar Gupta, Deputy General Manager, SIDBI and Gita Tripathi, GM SME, Corporate Centre, SBI.

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