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Public-private partnerships for digital MSMEs: Navneet Sehgal, Addl Chief Secretary, Information, MSME

Sep 24, 2021

Digitization - path to sustained growth for MSMEs: Ateesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, M/O MSME 

NEW DELHI, 24 September 2021: Mr Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Information, MSME, Export Promotion, Khadi & Village Industry Govt of Uttar Pradesh, today said that we have the largest number of MSMEs in the country and there is a need to work collaboratively with the private sector for digitisation of the MSMEs.

Addressing the session on Digitizing MSMEs at FICCI MASSMERIZE 2021- 11th Edition of FICCI's Annual Conference on Retail, FMCG and E-commerce,  Mr Sehgal said that the pandemic accelerated the demand for contact-free services and questions regarding the resiliency in supply chains. Virtually all MSMEs in India have specified that they need to transform digitally. "We have already initiated a survey where our teams are reaching out to the MSMEs in the unorganised sector," he said.  Helping MSMEs increases their resiliency at a time when many face unprecedented challenges in the wake of the pandemic, will encourage their participation in the country's economy. "It is time for the digital experts to find a solution for the glitches faced by MSMEs from which they can be largely benefited," he added.

He stated that another significant need for digital transformation of MSMEs is the accessibility of the appropriate technology for small-scale industries that can convert their marketing systems into a digitalized one. He further said that the issue before MSMEs in digitization is that there are no consistent and uniform solutions that could fit all. "These MSMEs are so small that they cannot tailor-make their digital solutions," said Mr Sehgal.

Mr Ateesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSME said that MSMEs have been the backbone and growth drivers for decades and are now striving to keep their businesses alive in these unprecedented times. Adopting digital can help them take advantage of opportunities in today's changing environment. "Many MSMEs are still unaware of digital impact, which makes it difficult for them to retain customer loyalty, Mr Singh said. MSMEs also face several other challenges including technological desuetude, supply chain inefficiencies, uncertain market scenario, and lack of funding. Given these challenges, he said, it is critical to building upon the digital literacy in MSMEs to ensure that they make optimal use of the technology-enabled platforms.

"We are looking forward to developing a data framework system and making the evolution process smarter, real-time, focussed and transparent. "We aim to access the impact and programs of the government, to identify gaps, reduce duplication and creating synergy within states and departments," said the Joint Secretary.

The schemes under the Ministry of MSMEs are undergoing a churning process and we are redeveloping several IT-based solutions, said Mr Singh. Speaking about the Govt initiatives, he mentioned the Champions portal and portal of portals which aims to strengthen the engagement within the MSME industry. "The MSME Digital Scheme helps MSMEs in providing a digital identity, offers handholding support, training, and capacity building, sharing of costs, and mitigation of risks," he said.

We want to take up the role of a real resolution provider which will offer handholding, use data to analyse, and convert them into decision-making points. "We are setting up a 24x7 customer care centre to help MSMEs enter the digitisation space," he said. There is also going to be a portal that is going to be the vehicle to implement schemes and will have all details of service providers; provide them online training and e-literacy, among others, Mr Singh further added.

Mr Osama Manzar, Founding Member, Digital Empowerment Foundation said, "One of our biggest challenges is how to focus on overcoming the gender and digital divide from the prospect of MSMEs. Our micro-nano entrepreneurship cannot rise unless we include women," he said.

Mr Sundeep Mohindru, Founder & Director - M1Xchange said that 90 per cent of their funding to MSMEs has gone to micro and small enterprises spread across 608 small towns and villages in India.

Mr Nilaya Varma, Co-Founder and CEO - Primus Partners said there are enough technology and private sector solutions for digitisation at very low costs. Today e-Commerce platforms serve 95 per cent of pin codes in India. MSMEs have markets across India.

Mr Vivek Lohcheb, Vice President, Offline Business - PhonePe said that customers in every nook and corner of the country are using digital payments.

The session was moderated by Ms Keyzom Ngodup Massally, Asia Pacific Regional Lead, Better Than Cash Alliance.

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