In these pandemic times, when the businesses are gravely affected and the MSMEs are particularly feeling the heat, a Kerala institute has come up with an initiative to help the distressed industry. The Institute of Small Enterprises and Development (ISED) has come out with a unique platform — ‘business clinic’ for extending advisory services to the COVID-19 affected MSMEs in the state.
The Kochi based ISED’s multi-disciplinary team of experts will offer free guidance to entrepreneurs to make a self-evaluation for improving their performance.
It will serve the interests of the MSMEs, entrepreneurial aspirants, such as the returning migrants, start-ups, educated unemployed, and women entrepreneurs.
ISED director, P. M. Mathew said COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the budgets and operations of most SMEs, globally, as also in India.
“Post-lockdown, the operational problems are likely to get aggravated. Beyond the broad macro level projections and debates, it is now time to act at the grassroots level. Many entrepreneurs need appropriate clinical assessment, and moral and psychological support, said Mathew.
According to the work force participation data at the national level, Kerala is ranked 31 in terms of the number of self employed, and placed in second rank in relation to the size of casual labour.
The Kerala Enterprise Development Report, brought out by the ISED states while the number of the unregistered enterprises is sizeable, constituting 76.85 per cent of the total, the respective share of registered MSMEs is only 9.53 per cent.
The constraints to these enterprises today are, poor sales, large inventory, delayed payments, damage of stock, wage bill arrears, unreliable labour supplies, fund diversion due to exigencies, GST related problems, and NPA/poor credit score.
“For all businesses, unlike in a sporadic recession in the economy, the danger today is circular and cumulative. Both from the demand side, and the supply angle, there is a serious contraction of business activities, which essentially means a glut in the cash flow. Corporate businesses, obviously, will come out of the mess due to their relative advantages of high reserve funds, liberal credit offerings, and easier access to alternative sources of finance,” said Mathew.