In this first of its kind initiative, Accelerating Business Xpo was organised on 15 th November at Holiday Inn,Kochi. There were panel discussions with eminent experts from the Government and Industry Associations, H.M. Harilal, Jt. Director General of Foreign Trade, M. Kumara Raja, Secretary, Coir Board, Ministry of MSME, Vinod Kumar,. President, India SME Forum, Senthil Kumar, Dy. GM & Zonal Head, South, SMEAG, ICICI Bank and Ranadeep Mookerjee, Product Head, Exports & Trade Block Chain, Trade Products.
India SME Forum has undertaken to conduct an Export series all over India with the support of the Ministry of MSME to priortise exports from India and to showcase the export opportunity for Indian MSMEs and increase the number of SMEs participating in Exports from the present 1,27,000 Enterprises to 5,00,000 enterprises and doubling the export output by SMEs. The Ministry of MSME is playing a crucial role with their International Cooperation Schemes and Export Promotion Schemes.
Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum said “There are huge trade opportunities in the global domain, however, it's easier said than done. In spite of Government’s strong focus on SMEs and exports, only less than 0.01% of total 65 Million of Indian MSMEs currently participate in Exports or Global Trade. In association and with the support of the Ministry of MSME, India SME Forum has decided to sensitise around 4,00,000 SMEs for Exports and to enable a new crop of Internationally competitive Indian SMEs to double the export output from India in the next four years.”
India is home to around 65 million SMEs, which contribute to 11% of GDP, 45% of total manufacturing output and provide employment opportunities for more than 100 million people. SMEs also play a crucial role in supporting large enterprises as ancillary units and even help in promoting industry in rural &; backward areas. So, it’s not an exaggeration to say that SMEs are the lifeline and backbone of our economy. A vibrant and financially inclusive India needs a vibrant SME sector! One thing, these SMEs need today and would need in future for sustainability is ‘more business’.
While our SMEs may not be endeavoring to the global marketplace for selling their products, other companies throughout the world are not staying put, they recognize the potential global markets has and they are looking to penetrate these markets, including India, aggressively.
The barriers are many such as lack of reliable data on overseas markets, inability to contact potential overseas customers, unfamiliarity with export rules, procedures & documentation, lack of trained export staff for trade facilitation, difficulty identifying foreign business opportunities, insufficient access to export finance etc. Some of the barriers are about perception, some related to lack of knowledge & information whilst some about lack of holistic and end-2-end global trade solution for SMEs.