MSME Week: Lessons from COVID-19 and revival strategy for SMBs

On MSME Day, these business experts discussed how to survive the COVID-19 crisis by integrating technology with business and being self-reliant without being dependent on the government.

After the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the gradual easing of restrictions, Indian businesses of all sizes were left worried about ensuring business continuity. With manufacturing impacted, supply chains broken, and a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads, they wondered how to make sense of all the chaos.

Some figured out how to streamline their expenses better, while some realised they had a weak online presence. Others felt consumer behaviour was about to change, and that they need to do something quickly or risk getting left behind.

Most of these learnings centred around the need to build a robust, technology-enabled, end-to-end supply chain and product manufacturing ecosystem - one that is not overly dependent on imports from other countries.

"The biggest weakness in the ecosystem is we don't have end-to-end product manufacturing and supply chain system. For example, most Indian manufacturers who make hand sanitisers import pumps from China. In every product line, some components are imported from other parts of the world. We should build a complete ecosystem by boosting our local vendor communities," said Rajat Jain, Managing Director, Kimirica Hunter, in an online panel discussion held as part of SMBStory's MSME Day celebrations on June 27, 2020.

MSME Day was the culmination of SMBStory's MSME Week, which featured business journeys, editorial features, live interactions and panel discussions with business founders, corporates working with MSMEs, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem.

The week-long celebrations, held from June 20 to June 27, were powered by credit empowerment partner — TransUnion CIBIL, India's first credit information company, and associate sponsor Dell Technologies.

On MSME Day, SMBStory highlighted some of the most valuable business lessons learned during COVID-19. During the session on 'Lessons from COVID-19 and revival strategy for SMBs', business insights were shared by a set of panelists, all of whom were experienced businessmen in the fields of manufacturing, automotive parts, steel and infrastructure, product life cycle management, advertising technology, and more.

The panel comprised Sreevathsa Prabhakar, Founder, Servify, Hiren Shah, Founder and Chairman, Vertoz Advertising, Rajat Jain, Managing Director, Kimirica Hunter, Kishan Jain, Director, Goldmedal Electricals, and Uday Narang, Chairman, Anglian Omega Group.

During the virtual discussion, the panelists agreed on the importance of integrating technology with business and being self-reliant without being dependent on the government

"We learned that the world is integrated by technology, and we need to focus on building a complete ecosystem for product manufacturing if we want to compete globally. In this regard, businesses should first ask what they can do for the government, and later ask what the government can do for them," said Uday Narang.

For more tips and strategies on how businesses can survive the COVID-19 crisis, watch the full panel discussion here:

Edited by Javed Gaihlot


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