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Augmented transparency; enhanced efficiency; facilitating ease of business and building economies of scale will enable MSMEs carve out a niche for themselves: BB Swain, MSME Secretary

Sep 23, 2021

NEW DELHI, 23 September 2021: Mr BB Swain, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India today said that the significance of MSMEs in the Indian economy is evident from their contribution in terms of various parameters, in particular GDP, employment, and exports.

Addressing the inaugural session of FICCI MASSMERIZE 2021- FMCG & Retail 'RESILIENCE', Mr Swain said, "In the past one and half years the world witnessed pandemic-associated lockdowns and consequent closures of economic activities. This led to the growth of e-Commerce across borders that further got accentuated. The progressive involvement of MSMEs in e-Commerce, especially in the recent past, has really grown. The large number of providers registered at the GeM (Government e-Market) portal is a fine example of the same. Many start-ups have been able to use the opportunity by developing consumer-friendly app mechanisms," he said.

Allowing wholesale and retail trading to be part of the MSME paradigm in July this year was an important step taken by the Ministry, Mr Swain said. "In times of heightened uncertainty, the question of enabling MSMEs to further carve out a niche for themselves is the challenging next step. Some features that are to be kept in mind are augmented transparency; enhanced efficiency; facilitating the ease with which business can be done; building economies of scale; and an efficient price discovery," he added.

Speaking at the event, Mr Arvind Mediratta, Chair FICCI Retail and Internal Trade Committee and Managing Director & CEO - METRO Cash & Carry India Pvt Ltd said that one not only needs to be resilient but also agile and quick to seize potential opportunities to succeed in today's age.

Elaborating further, Mr Mediratta noted that the e-Comm market is expected to overtake modern trade by FY 26, but traditional trade will continue to stay relevant for a long time. "Indian retail industry is one of the fastest- growing in the world and is projected to reach USD 1.3 trillion by FY 26. Retail industry is not just one homogeneous industry but there are three major segments within the retail industry - e-Commerce, modern trade, and traditional trade. The share of e-Commerce is expected to grow from 6 per cent of the total market in FY 21 to almost 11 per cent by FY 26. The share for modern retail, which has seen some headwinds, will probably remain static. The traditional trade continues to do very well. They have been extremely resilient during the crisis and have gained market share from 87.1 per cent to 88.8 per cent of the market," he said.

"Whether you are a traditional retailer or a brick-and-mortar retailer or e-Commerce, you will play well if you are resilient and continue to stay relevant with the right proposition," he further added.

Mr Madhusudan Gopalan, Chair FICCI FMCG Committee & CEO and MD, P&G, India Sub-Continent, said, "The pandemic has rapidly evolved and transformed the way we operate as businesses, and overall, as an industry. However, it has also presented us with an opportunity to adapt and meet consumer needs with unprecedented agility, and the FMCG sector is well-positioned to rise to the challenge. While the outlook of the FMCG remains positive in the long term, challenges remain in the near term."

Mr Gopalan further added that looking ahead, the most competitive advantage that will help businesses chart their course through uncertainty and the fast-evolving consumer and retail landscape - will be RESILIENCE. "Resilience needs to be built into every aspect of the business rather than bolted on as an additional muscle. It needs to be built into our manufacturing, our daily operations, our retail and logistic channels, our consumer insights and communication, and in the way we recruit, train and develop people," he said.

Mr Herjit S Bhalla, Co-Chair FICCI FMCG Committee & Vice President AEMEA & India - Hershey Company said that while last year was all about rebooting, this year is about being resilient. "Resilience is driven by three major ideas- idea of adaptation, idea of empathy and the idea that we are not going back. He stated that 2022 is a new world with new challenges and opportunities. We will need to persist to prevail into a new tomorrow, he added.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, said, "In our economy, sectors such as retail, FMCG, and e-Commerce are consumer-centric and can be the significant accelerators of the economy soon as consumer confidence enhances."

Mr Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte Consulting, said, "With the massive disruption brought about by the pandemic, businesses across the world were forced to respond, recover, and thrive by finding new ways to quickly adapt to the post-COVID-19 world. As organisations rapidly adopt technology to operate in connected ecosystems, they have an urgent need to enhance their presence in online channels. Organisations also need to revisit their strategies to have flexible distribution networks, accelerate adoption of omni-channel strategy, digitise supply chain, and strengthen sustainable business practices to create a seamless consumer experience."

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