IPF SME Forum: Unleashing India’s growth

The forum - titled “Make in India: Challenges & Opportunities before SMEs” - was hosted to identify stumbling blocks on the growth path of SMEs and measures to be taken to ensure their prosperity.
The forum - titled “Make in India: Challenges & Opportunities before SMEs” - was hosted to identify stumbling blocks on the growth path of SMEs and measures to be taken to ensure their prosperity.
Industrial Products Finder (IPF), which has been serving the needs of SMEs since 1972, organised the IPF SME Forum 2019 – a discussion forum for presenting practical solutions to challenges faced by SMEs – in Pune on June 21, 2019. Present on the occasion were Jeet Vijay, CEO, Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), Pinnacle Ventures; Ulrich Magnus Öfele, Director, Hoffmann India; Neeraj Menon of SRBC & Associates LLP (an Ernst & Young affiliate firm); Abhijeet Patil, Assistant VP and Product Manager (Business Banking) of Deutsche Bank; and Nitin Pangam, Managing Director of Maeflower Consulting.
In 2015, the Government announced ‘Make in India’ initiative with an intention to increase contribution of manufacturing sector to GDP from 16 per cent to 25 per cent by promoting indigenous production. It is estimated that SME account for 40 per cent of manufacturing GDP in India and are also big job generators. While there are many opportunities before SMEs with government announcing a number of new initiatives to support them, there are also challenges (such as funding, technological, business strategies, etc) to overcome. 
Jeet Vijay shared his thoughts on prevailing international trade scenario and challenges before Indian SMEs to be globally competitive. While urging Indian industry to boost domestic manufacturing and focus on innovation & R&D, he emphasised on the need to have a holistic set 
of policies to promote high-technology exports. 
Today, supply chains of big companies have become global as they source raw materials from one country, produce in another and distribute across the world. Many of them depend on SMEs for their component requirements. Ulrich Magnus Öfele focused on what it takes to be a part of global supply chain and impact of digitalization on the procurement strategy. Abhijeet Patil enlightened the audience on various options available before SMEs to fulfill their funding needs.
Neeraj Menon elaborated on various schemes of the Governments announced for SMEs to promote their growth. According to him, among various other schemes, Government grants 2 per cent interest subvention to all MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans up to Rs 1 crore. Menon also enlightened the audience about measures taken by states to promote SMEs. He urged SMEs to evaluate the maximum benefits that can be availed while setting up new manufacturing units.
Make in India is not just about fulfilling the needs of domestic industry, but also about competing globally. For India to grow above 
8 per cent over the next 20 years, the country has to increase its share in global trade. Nitin Pangam shared practical tips for SMEs to explore global market and increase exports. He highlighted on some of the initiatives taken by developed countries to support Indian exporters. For example, the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) connects German importers with small and medium-sized exporters from selected developing countries and emerging nations.
India aims to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025 with $ 1 trillion coming from manufacturing sector. Manufacturing sector cannot achieve this target without robust growth of SMEs, who have to become efficient to compete in domestic as well as global marketplaces. To succeed they need right business strategies, manufacturing processes and finance management, and IPF SME Forum offered practical solutions to make meaningful contribution to the growth of SMEs.
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