The National Small Industries Corporation(NSIC) is a Government of India enterprise setup under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). NSIC works to promote, aide and foster the growth of small industries and industry related micro, small and medium enterprises in the country. YourStory.in recently caught up with Dr. H. P. Kumar, CMD, NSIC, in Mumbai to discuss the activities of the enterprise. Excerpts.
YS: How does NSIC help startups and SMEs?
Dr. Kumar: There are number of ways in which we help small business. We help them get assistance from the Credit Guarantee Trust Fund, if banks have been reluctant to lend them money. Small businesses can become suppliers to Government departments through the single point registration scheme that we run. Under this scheme, SMEs are exempted from payment of tender costs, earnest money and waiver of security deposit upto the monetary limit for which the unit is registered with NSIC.
We have entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various nationalized and private sector banks. Through syndication with these banks, NSIC arranges for credit support from banks without any cost to MSMEs. We also provide assistance for marketing, raw material procurement and are in the process of developing an e-commerce portal called msmemart.co.in, which will be an e-marketing portal that can be used by both B2B and B2C businesses to reach their customers. You have to pay an annual charge of Rs 5,000 and we will give you space to put up information about your products and services. You can put your conditions, prices, decide delivery schedules and so on. The website will cater to both domestic and international businesses that operate in the MSME space.
YS: What activities does NSIC conduct on-ground for budding entrepreneurs?
Dr. Kumar: One of the things I am very proud of is the incubator centre that NSIC runs. Our incubator centre is very different from those run by IITs. Here it is not just ideas that get incubated, but this is a centre which provides a completely simulated environment for running a business. Exposure is given in all areas of business operations such as business skills development, identification of appropriate technology, hands on experience on working projects, project / product selection, opportunity guidance including commercial aspects of business. Low cost project technologies required for setting up new small business enterprises are also displayed in working condition.
Budding entrepreneurs can enroll for a three-month course that we provide at the incubation centre and get to experience live the mechanics of running a business. At the end of the course everyone gets a course completion certificate that can be used by entrepreneurs to avails various benefits. It entitles them to benefits like getting a loan, etc. that I mentioned earlier. Anyone can enroll for this course; even school and college dropouts can join the course.
YS: Where in India are these centres setup?
Dr. Kumar: We currently have 65 centres across the country and 2500 entrepreneurs have been trained so far. The numbers have grown 33% year-on-year since we started the first pilot in 2010. We have received enquiries to setup similar centres in Africa, Latin America, CIS countries, Uzbhekistan and Arabian countries. Even African countries like Euthopia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa have approached us to set up centres.