These individuals left government jobs to build businesses clocking crores, and other top stories of the week

This week SMBStory also spoke to entrepreneurs and industry leaders to understand the government’s move to revise the classification criteria for MSMEs - and why it works for some and doesn’t for some others.
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Last year, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat stimulus package, the Indian government rolled out a slew of policies to uplift the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the changes that managed to grab attention apart from the Rs 3 lakh-crore collateral-free loan was the revision in the definition of MSMEs. 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the new definition will ensure MSMEs can exhaust benefits without the fear of outgrowing. The objective of this was to provide ease in doing business, attract investments, and create more jobs in the MSME sector.

Nearly a year after the FM announced changes in the definition of MSMEs, entrepreneurs and industry stakeholders say the classification has been a game-changer of sorts for the ecosystem. While the government’s move helped the country’s most vulnerable small businesses survive the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it continues to pose challenges for larger enterprises even as they can now compete more effectively with global peers. This week, read SMBStory’s analysis of this scheme along with the hits and misses of this move.

SMBStory also covered the journeys of Indus Valley, a hair colour brand that is competing with the likes of L'Oréal and Revlon and PG Electroplast — a Rs 639 crore revenue, BSE and NSE-listed Indian manufacturing business.

Indus Valley

Shyam S Arya, Founder, Indus Valley

In 1986, in his early 20s, Shyam S Arya was working with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as a Senior Scientific Assistant. So deeply dissatisfied was he in his role that he quit his cushy government job after seven years, and took to the rather unpredictable and adventurous path of entrepreneurship. 

Shyam and his wife Dr Harinder Arya invested Rs 10 lakh to take over Faridabad-based Food Drug Research Analytical Labs and buy machines for R&D purposes way back in 1994, and thus began their venture - FDRA Labs (India) Pvt Ltd, a hair colour manufacturing company.

The business was on the rise until 2008, and then the infamous Great Recession hit, knocking it all down. The company faced hard times for two years. 

But learning from the experience, Shyam decided to bounce back, and start his own hair colour brand. He launched Indus Valley in 2010 and has not looked back since. 

Shyam launched Indus Valley with two hair colour products named Indus Valley Gel Colour and Indus Valley Botanical Colour. Today, the company rakes in an annual turnover of Rs 60 crore, and has established itself in more than 25 countries.

Read the full story here.

PG Electroplast

Vikas Gupta, PGEL Director of Operations

In 1975, a man sat in a small workshop on the terrace of his house in Old Delhi and tinkered with some electronic components.

The late Promod Gupta, not satisfied with his government job, was an entrepreneur at heart. He would go up to his terrace and try his hand at making transistor radios.

Little did he know his tinkering would lead him down the path of entrepreneurial success and create the legacy of a Rs 639 crore revenue (FY20 figures), BSE and NSE-listed Indian manufacturing business.

Noida-based PG Electroplast Limited (PGEL) — an electronics and plastic manufacturing, plastic injection moulding, and printed circuit boards business — was born out of Promod’s entrepreneurial zeal. 

The 2,000+ member family-run business names the likes of Llyod, Flipkart, Reliance Retail, LG Electronics, Voltas, Haier, Whirlpool, Maruti, Mahindra, Tata Motors, and Jaguar, among others as its marquee clientele.

Although PGEL was incorporated as a parent company in 2003, Promod’s original business had started in 1977.

Read the full story here.

Other top stories of the week-

JK Masale

Vijay Jain, Chief Marketing Director, JK Masale

India is often called the ‘land of spices,’ and rightly so. While India houses several spice brands, SMBStory traced the story of a Kolkata-based spice manufacturing company whose history dates back to the 1950s. 

Shri Dhannalal Jain had been working as a labour in Kolkata and had dreams of making it big in the city. 

Gradually, Dhannalal entered the small-time business of trading spices, which he would buy from different parts of the country and sell to shopkeepers in Kolkata’s Amartolla Street. When he realised that there was immense scope and opportunity in this segment, he decided to launch a business in 1957. 

From trading, Dhannalal gradually shifted to manufacturing. He set up a unit in Kolkata in 1985 and went on to build four more units in Kolkata, Rajasthan, and Unjha (Gujarat) in the subsequent years. 

Dhannalal earned a name in Kolkata, especially for supplying cumin (jeera), shares, his grandson and currently the company’s Chief Marketing Director, Vijay Jain. This led Dhannalal to be called the ‘Jeera King’ or JK. Taking a queue from this, Dhannalal named the company JK Masale

The company clocked Rs 300 crore turnover in FY21.

Read the full story here. 

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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