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‘SMEs Must Proactively Contribute in Nation Building Initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India’

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Emphasizing on the transformation period, that the country is witnessing, Mr Ravindra Chavan,Hon’ble Minister for Information Technology, Ports, Medical Education, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Government of Maharashtra said, “Every citizen in the country has a role to play in promoting Government of India’s ambitious programmes such as Digital India, Skill India, Ease of doing Business and Make in India. We have to change the nation by taking a new positive direction. State Government of Maharashtra is also committed to working closely with the citizens to fulfill the objectives of the above mentioned programmes,” the Hon’ble Minister was delivering the keynote address at the conference on ‘SME Infocon : Digitization a game changer for SMEs’ organized jointly by World Trade Centre Mumbai and All India Association of Industries.

Mr. Chavan further informed that more than 50% villages in Maharashtra have so far been connected through fiber optic network under Government of India’s Bharat Net project. “We intend to connect all villages in Maharashtra by 2019,” the Minister added.

Mr. Suresh M. Nair, Deputy General Manager – SME, State Bank of India, speaking on this occasion said, “In India, 87% of the credit needs of SMEs are met by commercial banks.  State Bank of India is having 25% market share in the SME lending segment in India among all commercial banks. The bank has lent Rs 20,000 crore for dealer financing through virtual (online) platform. We also use virtual platform for vendor financing, fleet financing and funding for taxi aggregrators.  We are awaiting guidelines from the Reserve Bank of India on Peer-to-peer lending(P2P).” 

Mr. Hemant Mishr, Chief Executive Officer, Iloanz said, “World of payments and lending will change more in the next five years. India has received USD687 million investments in the online lending sector in 2016, which is four times higher than the previous year. Demonetization has worsened liquidity issues for SMEs. According to McKinsey report, there is USD680 billion business opportunity in the online financing industry in India between now and 2020. Banks and financial technology companies must work together to meet the credit needs of SMEs better. Digitization will bring the unorganized SMEs into the formal sector.”

Mr. Nikhil Sawaitul, Associate Director – Payments & Digital Initiative Team, IDFC Bank, in his presentation, mentioned the emerging modes of payment in India. He said, “China is far ahead of India in online payment industry as mobile payment itself accounts for 40% of its GDP. India’s online payment industry got a fillip from demonetization measure. Various payment modes are emerging in the country after demonetization. The Unified Payment Interface has the potential to change the payment system in India. Other payment modes gaining popularity are Aadhar pay, digital wallet, Bharat QR.”

In his address, Mr. Sushmit Bhattacharya, Director, Deloitte highlighted the relevance of Compliance, Fraud detection systems and cyber security challenges in online transactions. 

Mr. Dinesh Kulchandra, Chief Digital Officer, SIX INCHES Communications, explained the importance of digital marketing for better customer engagement. Digital transformation is the convergence of physical world with Tech enabled business processes. By next year the number of people buying goods online may double to 700 million from 355 million now.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Mr Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries and Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai said, “MSME sector is the most vibrant segment of India. Even in worst times, MSMEs have grown at 11-13%. It has the potential to grow upto 16%, if supported by timely and adequate finance and flexibility in doing business. Digitization will only be successful by putting in place broadband connectivity, power supply and other infrastructure in place.India made a brand name for itself in the IT sector, which could be taken further by creating right atmosphere and conducive infrastructure. Also government should incentivize SMEs to adopt digital technologies.”

SMEStreet Desk

SMEStreet is fast growing platform dedicated to entrepreneurs from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Committed to facilitate Knowledge & Networking for Business Growth, SMEStreet offers value added content which shows the actual voice of Indian MSMEs.

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