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MSME Day 2022: The architecture for India’s stronger, equitable economic growth


In March 2020, weeks into the first lockdown, we at ETRise decided to pivot from what we normally write on and focus on Covid-19 and its implications for small businesses. The writing was on the wall — as long as the lockdown lasted and Covid was around us, small businesses would be severely impacted. What we did not expect was the pandemic to continue for over two years.

The millions of lives lost, thousands of businesses destroyed and the livelihoods that vanished marked an intense, tragic chapter of our lives. The MSME Day coverage for 2020 was all about ‘
Rebooting India’s Small Businesses’ as we at ETRise wanted to help MSMEs find their footing after a period of extended lockdown. In 2021, with the world trying to break the shackles and vaccines providing a ray of hope, Indian exports and millions of small exporters capitalised on the boom. For MSME Day, 2021, our focus was on how India can
make for the world. India’s overall exports (merchandise and services) touched an all-time high of $669.65 billion in April-March 2021-22, jumping by 34.50% over the corresponding period last year.

The 74th plenary of the UN General Assembly, on April 6, 2017, adopted the resolution to observe June 27 as the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day or MSME Day. The idea behind the resolution was that MSMEs play a very crucial role in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — in particular, promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all. MSME Day is expected to shine the focus on MSMEs and their contributions to the global economy.

This year, the focus for MSME Day is a tad different. The world again finds itself in a flux, this time not so much because of a pandemic, but largely due to the tectonic shifts in economic conditions. The Russia-Ukraine conflict, supply chain disruptions, inflation, dizzying commodity prices and food shortages threaten to derail a nascent global recovery. In fact, one report from the International Rice Research Institute says there’ll be 36 million fewer tons of rice — enough to feed 500 million people. Behind each of these events is the fragile global supply chain that has been found wanting ever since the pandemic began.

MSMEs have always faced issues — from access to credit to ease of doing business. But the problems around the supply chain are new. These impact every aspect of our lives. From our toothpaste to the food we eat, the supply chain ensures all goods reach us efficiently and economically. For businesses, everything from procurement of raw materials to sales to demand forecasting depends on the supply chain. If the supply chain falters, the very foundation of a business gets threatened.

India is on the move to seize economic opportunities, but supply chain disruptions have impacted near-term growth and made long-term prospects hazy. Every sector and industry needs to be prepared to reinvent themselves. For MSME Day 2022, ETRise is focussing on the need to “Strengthening India’s supply chain to power self-reliant MSMEs”. Policy, technology, leadership, skills and the entire ecosystem need to develop new capabilities, augment existing ones and be prepared for a new world. Aspirations of a $1 trillion economy cannot be realised on creaky infrastructure, sub-optimal operations and dis-regard for people and the society.

MSME Day 2022 will delve into these crucial aspects so that disruptions do not throw a spanner in the quest to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. The content for MSME Day 2022 showcases how businesses and organisations can become resilient and build a better world. On June 27, MSME Day 2022 will host key government officials, industry leaders and experts to deliberate on charting the path to the next normal. To listen to the voices that matter the most,
register here.

(The one-stop destination for MSME, ET RISE provides news, views and analysis around GST, Exports, Funding, Policy and small business management.)

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