Industry Stalwarts Underline Need To Wire Up Indian SMEs

The Indian SME can only grow if he gets wired. And that is possible if his dependency on people is removed, according to Bharat Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director of Tally Solutions. Goenka was among a list of eminent speakers at 'Envisioning the Wired SME' conference, organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and IndiaMART.com, at the Sheraton, Saket, in New Delhi on Saturday, November 28.

Goenka, who was speaking about his recipe for SMEs to grow the domestic business, stressed on the need to grow, for which everyone needs time. And that's where technology and online connectivity comes in handy. Reiterating that getting wired should be treated as the means, and not as the end for any SME, Goenka exhorted Indian SMEs to reduce unorganised processes and reduce errors.

The conference that brought together thought leaders from the banking, technology, marketing, trade organisations, successful SMEs, credit rating agencies and government bodies was well- attended.

Attributing the slow growth in the SME sector to a sequential gap, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of IndiaMART.com, said, "The decline and gradual extinction of printed yellow pages has really affected an SME's route to garner more business. Online yellow pages have not been able to take up their print predecessor's space. That's because SMEs were not even fundamentally wired with a phone, a PC, an Internet connection and some basic software."

Asking the government and industry to make it simpler for SMEs to get help, Agarwal said, "It is too little help and too difficult to get. Let the government be realistic about the amount of market development assistance it offers to an ecosystem of more than five million SMEs. And to match that, the IT industry should find a way to make a bundled offer of a PC, an Internet connection and the basic software available to SMEs for as little as Rs 500 per month. That can help bring the growth of the SME sector to inflection point much faster."

Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) said, "ICT is not a choice but the only way to progress and build better businesses. Whether SMEs are wired or not, is not a question or a choice. 24x7x365 connectivity is the only way out. Success at an amazing speed can be achieved once technology-driven processes can turn information into a commodity and dismantles barriers. With most SMEs in the manufacturing sector, ICT infrastructure is the need of the hour."

The one-day event featured six sessions on diverse topics of relevance to SMEs including technology, marketing and scaling up.


Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 22:20 PM

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