In this special panel discussion, YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma engaged Shalini Girish, Director, GCS, Google, and Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI in an insightful conversation around the urgent need to support the Indian small business ecosystem, the initiatives and programmes in that direction and getting customers to recognise the importance of their support to help small businesses survive this uncertainty.
The conversation saw Shalini explain the idea and scope of the Make Small Strong initiative, and how Google is trying to understand the key issues facing small businesses in order to continue helping them. “Consumer demand for small businesses today is still not at the level it used to be in pre-Covid times. And only the Indian consumers can help bridge that gap. If they don't come back and provide their support, it’s tough for small businesses to survive,” she said. It is imperative that consumers recognise the efforts these businesses are putting in. They need to rise to the challenge to help them gain back their economic vitality and the Make Small Strong campaign is rallying support for these small businesses, Shalini added. “The ask from consumers is simple - buy local, leave reviews and ratings, promote retailers on social media. Every action counts. When consumers rally behind small businesses, they will help make them stronger,” she said.
Adding to the conversation on the importance of the survival of small businesses, Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General at FICCI said, "Make Small Strong needs to be the bedrock for the economic and social way forward. There are 63 million MSMEs in India and they have a significant number of employment, but virtually every supply chain has a small and medium enterprise. The survival of these MSMEs and their integration in the current reality of the business will have a wider impact on the economy. We, at FICCI, are working with multiple partners to identify such companies.”