Skill development is the most critical aspect for the much needed economic growth of the country. Experts have also acknowledged and understood that much needed economic growth can only come by the prosperity of country’s MSME segment. Government of India and Government led institutions are making sincere efforts in this direction. National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) is by enlarge the most active organization which is working in this area. Mr Arun Kumar Jha, Director General, NIESBUD, is a visionary and action oriented bureaucrat who is committed towards ensuring the best for Indian MSMEs and he has taken skill development a mission for his professional life.
While discussing the issues and opportunities among Indian MSME sector, Mr Jha emphasized, “Although we have covered a long way, but still there is a huge amount of work which needs to be done. By working upon the areas such as skill development and by ensuring growth oriented ecosystem for MSMEs, we can contribute in the upcoming growth story of new age India.”
In an exclusive interaction with Faiz Askari, Edtor, SMEStreet, Mr Jha discussed the priority and opportunities for NIESBUD and his plan of action for bringing the positive change for Indian MSMEs.
The edited excerpts:
What are the key priorities for NIESBUD?
SMEs of India have become the front runners of economic growth. There are several opportunities which are knocking at the doors of MSMEs at the same time, there are several challenges that MSME segment is facing. These challenges are our priority segments. As an example, NIESBUD is working on delivering mentoring, consultancy, guidance to entrepreneurs from the MSME segment. We are working on educating entrepreneurs with regards to make them competent. However, I am very excited to share this information that under the leadership of Ministry of MSME, we are getting great support from the policy makers and entire ecosystem at the Government level.
What are the key objectives of setting up such activity center at NIESBUD? What are the specific areas of focus through this?
We have created a cell for such mentoring and consultancy for entrepreneurs within NIESBUD. The main objective of this cell is to help and guide both prospective and existing entrepreneurs.
Consultancy and guidance will be provided in six areas: Idea generation, planning, formulation and implementation; financial challenges and solutions; marketing of both new and existing ventures; human resource challenges (hiring, recruitment, training, retrenchment, motivation); expansion of ventures; and strategic planning and intervention.
The cell’s resource panel comprises experts from business management, entrepreneurship, banking, economics, human resource management, finance and strategy.
Niesbud has chosen Skill Development as an area of main focus and but apart from just providing skill development, you have been working in the area of job matching. Please share some insights about the same?
We have developed NiesbudNaukri as an online portal for job seekers and employers.
The portal is yet another effort, in the series of our efforts for improving the employability of the skilled manpower in the country. The Portal designed and developed in-house by a team of technical experts at Niesbud. The main objective is to provide a common platform to both the trained persons and the prospective employers.
The online registration of this portal is free-of-cost for employment in more than 150 trades and job categories. Like any other job portal, any prospective registered employers would be able to source their requirements of skilled manpower out of the persons registered on the portal. The differentiating element in our portal is the fact that we understand the relevance of SMEs and we also try to create skilled manpower availability at the regional level.
This is first of its kind of initiative in the sphere of micro, small and medium enterprises would assist skilled unemployed persons in getting gainful employment in different industrial sectors besides helping NIESBUD in further improving its training activities.
According to you, what are the gaps existing in this ecosystem even as of today? Are you working on those gaps?
The MSME sector needs to be strengthened at multiple level. Effort of the Ministry is to make India as entrepreneurial country, significant efforts are designed and getting made. The biggest emphasis is on ensuring better future for unemployed youth in the rural and semi-urban areas. We are working so that they can be included under the different training programmes of the Ministry to help them in setting up their own enterprises or they may get skilled to get hired by employers.
So far, what kind of market response are you getting from this initiative?
We are getting very positive and warm response from the market. Employers are coming forward in a big way. Manpower is showing great interest is availing training. Within the short duration of activity of the portal, close to 150 companies and around 10,000 job seekers have already registered themselves on the Portal during the trial/preparatory phase itself with a few such companies being McDonald’s; Krishna Electrical Works; Indosopung Tour; Sopung Holiday India Pvt. Ltd.; Mammey Di Hatti; Heritage Garments; Pantaloons; Pizza Hut; Haldiram’s; Shoppers’ Stop and KFC.
Please highlight the biggest challenge creating a positive ecosystem for entrepreneurship development in India?
In India, there is a huge demand for skilled manpower and motivated entrepreneurs. The market has several new opportunities to offer, but people are still using conventional methods of business, and are, hence, struggling to achieve growth. This mindset needs to be changed, which is a major challenge.
We also focus on educating underprivileged people and enabling them with entrepreneurship skills. Reaching out to such people is often a challenge, but we have been doing this successfully.
Please stay tuned for the Next Part of this Interview, which will highlight the activities of NIESBUD.