MSMEs are the growth engines of states as they contribute heavily to the economy of the state. However, the COVID pandemic has had a negative impact on the sector and economic activities have been interrupted due to closures. To help MSMEs through the difficult times, the government of Uttar Pradesh has put in place various programs and policies to improve the ease of doing business in the state. Highlighting the role of MSMEs in the creation of UP Aatmanirbhar, Elets Technomedia together with Meta organized a virtual summit – MSME Growth Summit – Uttar Pradesh edition.
“Leveraging technology to improve sales and customer experience”
Kumar Vinet, The Special Secretary (IT) of the Government of Uttar Pradesh said, “The Government of Uttar Pradesh has come up with a program which creates specialized handicraft products. For example, kala namak rice, ancient traditions of zari and zardozi or chikankari, glassware or bed sheet or jaggery, we have tried to achieve a geographical identification mark with these products. Uttar Pradesh is trying to build a technology platform to reach customers and allow MSMEs to access larger markets, he added.
Expressing that the fundamental motive is accessibility to market and finance, Vineet said, “The product should be artistically made so that the packaging looks better. We need to do a good geolocation, with a good presentation of the products and easy access to the marketplaces for the products. Moreover, we need to improve the interaction between market players as well as consumers. »
On improving the customer experience, he said, “To improve the customer experience and facilitate communication, we need to create a one-stop shop where people can interact individually… Additionally, we are leveraging technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop chatbots that further facilitate communications with consumers. Adding, he said, “There are three main focus areas where technology plays a key role, firstly, to provide a good platform that is easy and accessible to every industry. Second, to develop an interactive platform between the consumer and the manufacturer, and the third improves accessibility.
“MSMEs are the country’s growth engines”
Sarveswar Shukla, Co-Commissioner, Industries, Government of Uttar Pradesh, said during his address that MSMEs are the engine of growth in the country and major contributors to economic activities and revenue. The state of Uttar Pradesh has established many programs such as One District One Product (ODOP) for the overall development of the MSME sector in the state.
Speaking on how the UP government is helping MSMEs, he said, “We are not treating Uttar Pradesh as a state but as a small country. In terms of MSMEs, UP ranks first in India. We have developed enabling policies and are helping investors and businesses to come to the state. We have Nivesh Mitra which is an online system, where any investor can apply for various permissions, licenses needed to set up an organization in the state. Additionally, in 2020, the UP government proposed the MSME Act 2020 which has proven to be a game-changer for the MSME sector.
“We also have monthly grievance meetings under the Udyog Bandhu at district level. Challenges are resolved through these meetings. The government is working to improve the ease of doing business in UP across all sectors. With extensive expertise in each district, ODOP’s flagship program is successfully implemented at UP. Following the success of ODOP, the Center also plans to replicate the program across the country. There are many other programs in development in the state,” Shukla added.
Optimizing the marketing of MSME products using ICT
During his remarks, Vidyasagar Singh, Managing Director of the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), pointed out that the MSME sector produces excellent products with many local artisans that need to be further enhanced with the help of technology, ICT and better marketing.
“I think a priority area should be to improve technology penetration in the MSME sector. Such development could yield better results and enable MSMEs and our local craftsmen and artisans to reach larger markets,” he said.
Singh expressed interest in working with the UP government to come up with better programs for MSMEs. He said, “NSIC has offices all over India and we offer tailor-made programs. So if we join hands, we would be able to come up with better projects. We reached out to state governments to empower MSMEs and many of them expressed interest in developing a web portal to improve the reach and visibility of MSMEs in their states. »
He said that the Secretary of Ministry of MSMEs, Government of India announced that NSIC’s msmemart.com will be treated as a nodal portal for B2B marketing activities providing support to MSMEs. “We are also planning global reach through technology. NSIC has launched a new ICT-enabled digital services program and has already partnered with many leading service providers. With various subsidized rate schemes, we are reaching the masses,” he added.
E-commerce: a boon for MSMEs
Hasan Yaqoob, Chairman, eCommerce Council CII, Uttar Pradesh and Associate Director, Flipkart Group, said, “I would like to report to you that our Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched so many initiatives including but not limit, Skill India. , Digital India which all benefit MSMEs. Nowadays, due to the growing penetration of e-commerce in the country, India’s rural belt is very much aware of its reach across India, without the need for cash or at least. This is the biggest advantage of e-commerce. It also plays a crucial role in improving product marketing. E-commerce has played an important role in the national market, and e-commerce companies like Flipkart have programs where we help local artisans and craftsmen to get a prepared catalog for their products for free.
If a person intends to sell a product on an e-commerce store, they have to pay GST, which the government benefits greatly from. Flipkart has developed a program called ‘Flipkart Samarth’ to showcase the work of local artisans in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The entire artisan and artisan community greatly benefits from the program. The Flipkart Samarth also helped them become entrepreneurs at a low-cost module. The program has benefited various communities, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), people with special disabilities, etc. We are also in talks with the government of Uttar Pradesh for export promotion, he added.
Need to create a convenient business ecosystem for MSMEs
Gaurav Srivastava, Principal Consultant, Ernst & Young Global Consulting Services, said that with the aim of holding MSMEs and developing a convenient business ecosystem for the sector; the government has launched programs like One District One Product (ODOP), Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP). Policy intervention and convergence are key to MSME growth.
“In 2020, the government of Uttar Pradesh changed the manufacturing policy where we assume the investment should be around Rs 40,000 crore and recently we also changed the startup policy, where we expect 10,000 startups and an incubation center in every district of the state,” he added.
Expressing his opinion on improving and empowering the business ecosystem in Uttar Pradesh, Srivastava said, “I think like other cities, we should also spend more money on entrepreneurship as well only for education. We should come up with initiatives on how we can give small startups a comfort zone. ODOP has been instrumental in capacity building, with major agencies and has been instrumental in uplifting MSMEs in the state. »
While highlighting improved market reach with the help of e-commerce stores, Srivastava said, “We sold Rs 1,000 crore worth of products on Flipkart alone.” In terms of technology, ODOP does a great job.
“We need to have cluster incubation centers for seamless work. We need to understand to our capacity what we can do to make Uttar Pradesh a profitable business ecosystem for MSMEs,” he said .