Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/sme-sector/msme-day-supply-chain-crisis-one-of-the-biggest-challenges-in-recent-years-says-bb-swain-msme-secretary/articleshow/92490142.cms
The United Nations General Assembly in 2017 declared 27 June as MSME Day, to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and the global economy.
As the world looks to emerge from the pandemic and global demand rebounds, businesses will have to quickly find answers to supply chain issues, which has emerged as a significant threat, said BB Swain, Secretary, Ministry of MSME at the ETRise, MSMEDay Virtual Mega Conclave 2022.
“The pandemic has seen MSMEs face innumerable challenges. They responded by focusing on business continuity and innovating. The government reacted quickly to support MSMEs in the hour of crisis,” said Swain.
Swain added that the stimulus announced under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Packages has made a significant difference to MSMEs across sectors. While there have been many big and small initiatives, the more noteworthy ones include:
- Rs. 3 lakh crore Emergency Working Capital Facility for Businesses, including MSMEs.
- Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds.
- Redefining MSME
The secretary went on to add that beyond the specific schemes, digitalization support for SMEs, skill development to improve and be in sync with modern technologies, have been the areas the Ministry has actively worked on.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2017 declared 27 June as MSME Day, to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and the global economy. The resolution says there is a need to focus on the importance of MSMEs in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all. It also recognized the importance of encouraging the formalization, participation and growth of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in international, regional and national markets, including through access for all to capacity-building and financial services, such as affordable microfinance and credit.
Swain also used the occasion the highlight the focus of the government, which he says in in sync with what MSME Day aims to achieve. “These have been some of the stated goals for this Ministry much before the creation of MSME Day, but celebrating this day helps us recommit ourselves to the goal of strengthening millions of MSMEs in the country,” he added.
Talking about the relevance of the theme for the Summit — India on the Move — for MSME Day, Swain said it is very relevant in today’s times. “Aspects like access to finance and technology, ease of doing business, and better infrastructure have been the centre of focus for some time for all stakeholders and we have made considerable progress in each of these areas. While the sector faces traditional challenges, supply chain disruptions have emerged as one of the biggest challenges in recent years. It is crucial that we have greater conversation around building resilient supply chains. ET Rise has rightly focused on it,” Swain said
Lauding the efforts of small businesses in the country, the Secretary said we have already seen examples of businesses stepping up during the pandemic to tackle various challenges. “Our Covid-19 vaccine program, which is the largest in the world, saw great contributions from homegrown firms in development, logistics, cold storage, etc. Many SMEs supported the government’s effort to make sure the nation could withstand and respond strongly in the face of the crisis,” Swain said.
Swain concluded by saying that while there are challenges, opportunities will present themselves, but it is important for MSMEs to seize them. “MSMEs must adapt to new market realities and find their distinct competitive advantages. Global demand, which had shrunk during the pandemic, is resuming, therefore supply disruptions have to be quickly addressed so that a new equilibrium can be reached. This will call for realignment of supply chains, finding new markets, finding new products and services, understanding changes in customer behaviour, and embracing technology,” Swain said.