Over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have crippled the MSME sector — the backbone of India’s economy. The micro, small, and medium enterprises contribute 29 percent to India’s growth, 48 percent to the country’s overall exports, and generates employment for almost 11 crore people.
The pandemic has brought multiple predicaments and challenged the very survival of the sector. Moreover, with lack of funds to recommence production, hefty rents, and salaries remaining to pay, many of them have had to shut shop. As the lockdown restrictions are eased, surviving SMBs are picking themselves up, demonstrating resilience and perseverance while resuming operations.
To celebrate these SMBs, bring their contributions into the spotlight, and make their voices heard, YourStory is celebrating MSME Week, powered by our credit empowerment partner — TransUnion CIBIL, India's first credit information company, and Dell Technologies, our associate sponsor, from June 20 to June 27, 2020.
Here’s a look at everything that happened in the past week:
Ahmedabad-based Suraj Vazirani, Founder of The Beauty Co., is one among many entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on this growth, and make a name for their private labels and brands.
During the virtual session on June 20, Suraj, who runs the beauty products brand The Beauty Co., described the impact of COVID-19 on ecommerce, and explained how one can take their first steps into the world of ecommerce, and start their own private label.
He also offered useful tips and tricks on how to evaluate lucrative ecommerce categories, how consumer behaviour will shift online, and what can be done to capitalise on this opportunity.
How long will SMBs take to recover from COVID-19 crisis is a big question. On Day 2 of the MSME Week, Dr Arun Singh, Chief Economist at Dun & Bradstreet India, discussed the pain points of MSMEs and what steps can be taken to ensure the speedy recovery of the Indian SMBs in a virtual one-on-one interaction.
He said embracing technology and digitisation, changing mindset and focusing on business innovation, as well as monitoring labour productivity on a daily basis are some of the steps that can ensure the revival of Indian SMBs.
These Kurukshetra-based entrepreneurs started an apparel brand in 2017, which clocks Rs 8 lakh a month revenue
The steel sector became one of the worst-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry faced headwinds in the last one year due to the decline in automobile sales. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the sector’s woes with most units being shut during the lockdown.
As part of a virtual interaction, KK Mehrotra, Chairman of Indian Institute of Metals and former CMD of Meccon India Limited, shared his insights from his vast experience in the steel sector.
KK also expects the country to get back to normalcy in the second half of the current financial year due to government-induced expenditure.
The week-long celebration culminated in a grand finale featuring champions of the MSME segment on MSME Day (June 27, 2020).
The finale saw industry stalwarts like Samir Modi, Managing Director, Modi Enterprises; Harshala Chandorkar, COO of TransUnion CIBIL; Jayant Khosla, Managing Director and Group Head, VLCC; and many other entrepreneurs and industry leaders discussing the way forward for the industry.
The finale saw one-on-one interactions, panel discussions and keynote speeches by industry champions discussing the lessons learnt from COVID-19 and how the process of recovery be sped up for Indian MSMEs.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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