Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit – 2013 started with a bang as business magnates’ heaped praise on the entrepreneurial culture and congenial environment of Gujarat to conduct business. What may look as a big man’s show also had ample discussion around micro, small and middle enterprises. A special convention was held for this budding sector was held on Day 2 of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The summit witnessed a total footfall of 1.6 million including 58,000 delegates from India and around 2100 delegates from abroad. The foreign delegates mainly comprised of people from Japan, Canada, and China.
Termed SME convention, innovation and technology was the main focus at the convention. Both product and process innovation were recognised and duly rewarded.
The convention pointed out how the SME sector has been one of the important job generators in Gujarat registering a growth of 72% annually. Capitalizing on abundant mineral resources, this sector showcased Gujarat’s fierce determination in making itself the production hub of the nation. Gujarat boasts of 15% of the total SME’s propping across the country. Saurabh Patel, Minister for Industries, Government of Gujarat said, “We, at Gujarat are committed to provide 24 hours electricity, IT interface for industries along with necessary capital for the growth of industries. Along with that, Industrial Extension Bureau (INDEXTb), an undertaking by state govt., will give budding entrepreneurs the knowledge and operation of global market to help them capture that share of the pie.” In what is a testimony of this fact, the state has witnessed 6,338 memorandum of understanding (MOUs) worth 5 billion dollars over last 3 summits. The “Special Investment Region” at Dholera will add new dimension to the SME sector along with the heavyweights, said the Minister.
Reiterating his commitment for a simpatico environment, Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi said, “I want every product moving out of Gujarat to be recognised as a brand of quality. Just as ‘Made in Japan’ mark stood tall for quality claim, I want products manufactured in Gujarat to go out and make the same echo. The state will help innovators patent their work. Gujarat Industrial Extension Bureau (GIDC) and INDEXTb will organise workshops in the future to enable the same.” Dhirubhai Andhariya, owner of Madhu Industries that has a works in cast iron castings, Bhavnagar, welcomed these steps, “Our effort has been duly recognised. Getting awarded for innovation and technology will help me brand my product and industry. The constant support by government and its policies has helped me stand on my own, when competition from China was weakening my sector.”
The inclusion of rag pickers and their recognition as an industry was one of the main highlights of the convention. As Sandeep Patel, founder of NEPRA, responsible for training rag pickers puts it, “Recognition of rag picking as an organised industry will help rag pickers get substantial wage in comparison to what was given earlier. The training has filled them with a pride and job satisfaction.”
Of the numerous international delegates present at the event, YourStory spoke to Katerina Lischuk, from KIEV4U, a tourism company headquartered at Ukraine. Katerina was extremely pleased with the hospitality extended to her by the Gujarat government and said, “Gujarat boasts of longest coastline in the nation along with desert festival and such economic summits. We are here to promote tourism and would like to tie up with local players for the same.”