Aatmamirbhar Bharat: How MSMEs and small businesses can help to achieve this?

Indian MSMEs are not making efforts to cope with industry dynamics by coming up with innovations and customisations on their offerings. Here’s how they can help in building “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
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The global pandemic brought about a sluggish period for the country’s economy. However, in order to ensure its revival, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced various initiatives, including an incentive package of Rs 20 lakh crore as a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme.

This was done with an aim to expedite reformations across sectors including MSMEs, labourers, middle-class population, etc.

The present landscape of Indian MSMEs

Indian MSMEs have always treaded on the traditional route, catering to domestic markets via the D2C path or by being a part of the value chain of B2B giants. However, with the ever-evolving customers' needs and preferences, they are increasingly making efforts to cope with industry dynamics by coming up with innovations and customisations in their offerings.

As reported by IBEF, the number of registered MSMEs grew to 2.5 million units in 2020 due to the launch of the Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum Policy. Presently, there are approximately 6.3 crore MSMEs in the country as per IBEF’s data. The industry body also states in its data that the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises contribute 29 percent towards the nation’s GDP via both its national and international trades.

The sector has played a major role in boosting the socio-economic development of the country. It has gained prominence over the years due to its significant contribution to the nation's Gross Domestic Product value.

Furthermore, the sector is flourishing in the semi-urban and rural areas of the country as well.

MSMEs helping the Aatmanirbhar Bharat objective

As per the PM, a self-reliant India will stand primarily on five major values — economy, infrastructure, system, dynamic demography, and demand. MSMEs and small businesses in our country can contribute majorly to making India aatmanirbhar by standing on all these five pillars and forming a robust foundation. Once this will be achieved, reaching the destination of Aatmanirbhar Bharat won’t be far.

The MSME sector is indeed the growth engine of the nation. It is one of the dynamic sectors and has been identified as the bedrock for economic regrowth by the Indian government. Strengthening the segment, on one hand, would further boost the country’s economy and employment market.

On the other hand, this process will help reduce the issues of migrating unskilled, skilled, and professionals to metro cities.

Though the prospects with the campaign look promising, the road ahead is not easy. With limited resources and stringent government rules and regulations, Make In India is certainly not a cakewalk. As a country, we need to integrate responsibility in the sheer DNA of manufacturing.

The need of the hour is to focus on innovation and find ways to create more in less. Such empowering initiatives have the power to create ample job opportunities and growth for the development of the nation, though factors like environmental stability and scarcity of resources are still there as roadblocks.

Pertinent to mention, the government needs to take the steps to empower MSMEs in order to make Aatmanirbhar Bharat come true. Government policies should be created to ease out the entire process for the manufacturers. The purchase guidelines should be aligned well with the industry requirements.

An ecosystem should be created with industry specific clusters to address specific requirements of different segments. Government should be generous with the easy and cost-effective raw material availability for the local manufacturers. This will not only boost the MSME economy but also help to challenge the dominancy of multinational brands.

India certainly looks forward towards an encouraging direction as adding to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ongoing campaign, doubling of the budget allocation for the MSMEs in FY22 along with other supportive and encouraging measures will give a major boost to the sector. Initiatives like these will further benefit the MSMEs and will pave the way for the long-term sustainability and growth of the market in India.

Summing up

The government’s initiatives are paving the way for strong growth of the MSME sector and will also help Aatmanrbhar and vocal for local campaigns gain popularity at the global levels as well. In order to achieve the long-term vision of reviving the nation's economy, we first need to help MSMEs succeed.

For this, we would have to consider the three key attributes of MSME success- availability of skilled labour in MSME clusters, financial stability as well as market competitiveness of products to achieve both import substitutions as well as exports.

If appropriate measures are taken and relevant initiatives are introduced, MSMEs can witness bolstered growth. In turn, they could play a pivotal role in progressing the country’s economy and also in making the nation and its citizen self-reliant in the times to come.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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