MSME sector registers degrowth

The Times of India,

AHMEDABAD: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about Make In India, his home state has registered fall in number of new players coming up in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.

After recording growth of 12% to 85% in five years from 2008-13, Gujarat registered a fall of over 14% in the new MSMEs established in the state in 2013-14 when Modi was chief minister.

According to Ministry of MSME, as per the number of Entrepreneurs Memorandum indicating commencement of operation (filed under MSME Development Act, 2006), Gujarat registered a decline of 14.08% in 2013-14, putting brakes to number of new units set up in the state.

The ministry attributes degrowth to problems being faced by the sector related to credit, infrastructure, technology, marketing and skill development among others across the country. However, industry experts in the state believe that the reasons for degrowth in new units in MSME sector include economic slowdown over two years till 2014, lack of finance and lack of innovation among the units in the state. “Several units in the state are ancillary units providing support to big companies. As these big companies slowed down during the recession, it directly impacted the units in the state. Also, the MSMEs in the state have not developed to an extent that they can operate independently,” said Jaimin Vasa, president, Gujarat Chemical Association. Vasa, who is also the president of GCCI’s MSME committee, said that finance continues to be a major drawback for the sector which dissuades start-ups from setting up units and existing units to expand. According to the data available with the Gujarat government, investments worth Rs 50,000 crore came to Gujarat between 2010 and 2014 in MSME sector, generating employment for 1.39 million people.

According to the recent Assocham report on MSMEs in Gujarat, the major challenges faced by the units in the state include absence of adequate and timely banking finance, low production capacity, ineffective marketing strategy and identification of new markets for expansion.


Ecommerce booming but logistics companies play catch up

The Economic Times,

BENGALURU: If you bought shares of Gati LtdBSE 1.95 % in late 2013, they would be worth at least 10 times by now. The 25-year-old logistics company’s stock has not seen so much action in a long time, buoyed by online retailers. Likewise, shares of Blue Dart ExpressBSE 2.42 % and Transport CorporationBSE 0.71 % of India have more than doubled in the past two years.

For investors, that’s something to cheer. But logistics in India is still far far from being able to keep pace with the rapid strides of ecommerce giants and online firms that arrange delivery of goods from neighbourhood merchants. “In India, it’s horizontal players (or online marketplaces) that are driving growth and volume of ecommerce, and no logistics are currently capable of providing the entire supply chain,” said Bhavesh Manglani, cofounder and bechief operating officer of third party logistics provider Delhivery

From first-mile pickup,, transporting a product from a seller to a warehouse, to the last-mile touchpoint, the final journey to a customer in a major metropolis or a tier-4 village, logistics in India is fraught with challenges that ecommerce companies are attempting to solve.

The problem begins with lack of organised physical addresses, particularly when it comes to small towns and villages. “If you don’t know the consumer address in latitude and longitude, it’s not going to help you,” said Sriram Kannan, cofounder and chief executive of Verayu, an eight-year-old company specializing in location intelligence.

The startup has patented technology that pulls up optimised routes for delivery boys in realtime without relying on GPS. With customer demand booming by the day, online retailers in India are under pressure to deliver within shortening timelines to battle out competition. But unlike in China, whose Alibaba-led ecommerce boom was largely facilitated by the growth of state-funded infrastructure, Indian ecommerce companies have to pave their own way to their customers’ doors, and within tight wallets.

It’s a delicate balancing act between cost and time-efficiency, said G Raghuram, dean of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. “They have to solve the whole issue of logistics, which would include where they should locate their warehouse, what should be the IT support for quick retrieval, and what would be the optimal parcel size for shipment,” he said. “The smaller the vehicle, the cost of delivery goes up, but then you are more efficient.”

Flipkart, India’s most valuable ecommerce firm, is working on several experiments to lower delivery cost as it aims to increase shipments to at least one billion packages a month in 2017-18, from about 8 million now. One such experiment, automating the process of assigning packages to delivery men by geocoding customer addresses, is already paying dividends, cutting the process time by half to about 90 minutes. “The key challenges are to solve for speed at scale, optimise for cost and experience and speed of delivery,” said Binny Bansal, cofounder and head of supply chain at Flipkart.

Companies are also making substantial investments to distribute warehouses and holding facilities for maximizing cost-time efficiency.

“We have multiple intermediate points instead of a centralized hub, which allows us to reduce cost and the number of times packages change hands. This works very well for 24-48 hour deliveries,” said Manglani of Delhivery, which makes over 1 lakh deliveries a month. The three-year-old company is also piloting systemdirected routing in a few cities. India’s logistics industry was according to the latest figures available with India Brand Equity Foundation, a trust established under the ministry of commerce. To optimise economies of scale, online retailers prefer to work with third-party logistics providers such as Delhivery, which, however, struggle to keep pace with demand. Delhivery added 6,000 employees in six months since October, but still has to decline business.

“Third-party logistics providers will always be more capital-efficient, but they simply do not have the capacity to do it for us,” said Brijesh Aggarwal, cofounder and CEO of online wholesale goods platform IndiaMART. “Nobody thought they would have so many shipments coming in.”

Gati’s ecommerce business revenue, for instance, rose 164 per cent yearon-year to Rs127 crore in 2014-15. Over the last 3 years, it has built up a last-mile fleet of 1,350 vehicles covering more than 20,000 pin codes.


Embarking onto the 5th season of IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; but, working together is success.”

With this intent in heart, IndiaMART stepped into the 5th season of bringing a difference into the lives of millions of people. Successfully running IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum, in association with ZEE Business for the past four years, this year, IndiaMART aims to converge all its efforts towards what the entire country is working towards – “Make in India”.

A grand event studded with the most eminent personalities of the industry, IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum Season 5 was held at Vivanta By Taj, Surajkund on the 24th April, Friday night.

As the Sun was going down, the mood for the event was rising up…with the end moment touch ups and fixes, the stage was set right on time.


Soon the registration desks started flooding with the guests and within an hour’s time the empty hall was jam-packed.


The agenda for the event was to discuss the problems and shortcomings faced by the SMEs of our country and help SMEs Make In India. The event was inaugurated by Mr.Dinesh Gulati, Director, IndiaMART. Speaking about the SMEs sector contribution to the economy of India, he said “SMEs are the most resilient sector of the Indian Economy. They survive in the hardest of conditions and make the best of the opportunities available to them”.


Carrying forward the same spirit, soon the panel discussion began on the most important topic of the evening “Helping SMEs Make In India”. The panel was graced with the presence of Mr. Dinesh Gulati, (Director, IndiaMART), Mr. S. P. Singh (General Manager, SBI), Mr. Ravindra Nath (CMD, NSIC), Mr. Rajiv Chawla (President, Faridabad Small Industries Association), and Mr. Ajay Thakur (Head, BSE).


An intensive discussion about the troubled life of the SMEs in India proved very rewarding and motivating in making India one of the leading manufacturers of the world.

Various aspects such as skill divided, lean manufacturing, energy audit, untapped opportunities and much more was brought to light by the panelists.


The event also reflected the journey of an SME who made it big by making in India. Acme Plastics and its owner Mr. Naveen Kumar, a small businessman of Faridabad, addressed the audience and shared his success story on how he gave his company new wings.

Naveen explained how he focussed more on quality, which helped him earn a name for himself. His main competitors were from China who always had the cost edge, the reason he focussed on superior quality. Many people drew inspiration from him and lauded his efforts for emerging triumphant.



Many SMEs took the opportunity and made the most out of it during the audience interaction session. The even reflected how SMEs can make it real big in the country.

A special success story session was planned for the guests of the Emerging Business Forum Season 5. Mr. Ramesh Suri (Chairman, Subros) addressed the gathering and enlightened us with his success story.


One of the peak moments of the evening were when “SME IT Mahaabhiyaan – Digitization of SMEs” was proposed during the event, a joint venture of IndiaMART, NSIC and Industry Association.
Nothing like the sound of applause audiences gave on this announcement at that very moment…absolutely spell binding!

Well after the heavy talk, it was the moment all of us were waiting for…
The big door to the buffet and bar was wide open…

The discussions of the event continued over drinks and dinner till late night!!!
Altogether, the audience delved into the SME industry’s lingo. Whether it was planning a newbite, rectifying current business problems or just starting afresh, the IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum not only helped in keeping the SME Industry knowledge on the cutting edge, but also garnered high expectations for their next meet in Ahmedabad.

Birkan Engineering – Spreading the safety net

We started with IndiaMART in the year 2007 with Free Listing. After getting a good response from IndiaMART and our customers, we switched to their MDC (Mini Dynamic Catalogue) Plan in the year 2011

Robin Mukesh, Executive Director,
Birkan Engineering
Ghaziabad, 30th April, 2015

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‘Government need to introduce modern tech to raise manufacturing share in GDP’

NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary panel today asked government to introduce modern and latest technology in order to raise the share of manufacturing in the GDP to 25 per cent.

“The committee is of the considered view that the government’s initiative for catapulting industrial share to 25 per cent of the GDP will be difficult to achieve without infusion of modern, green and latest technology to our industrial/manufacturing base, more so, in the SME sector,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce said in its report.

However, it expressed apprehension that the ambitious goals of the national manufacturing policy (NMP) 2011 of enhancing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent and creation 100 million jobs over a decade would be “adversely affected given the extremely tardy pace of progress made under the policy”.

The scheme for implementation of NMP is yet to be notified and its notification is pending approval of all the component under the policy.

Further, it said infrastructural bottlenecks and the discouraging business environment existing in the country need to be tackled with all vigour and the DIPP being the nodal agency for the industrial health of the country should take concrete stridesBSE -1.35 % in this regard.

“With the countries around the world turning to protectionism of domestic markets, the task cut out for the Make in India initiative is daunting,” it said.

The committee said it understands that the capacity constraints in critical infrastructure sectors such as electricity and railways has led to reduced profitability of manufacturing industries which are logistics intensive as well as complex and complicated regulatory regime including land, environmental clearances, supply of critical inputs like coal, gas has further increased risks of project implementation and has led to low private sector investment in manufacturing activities in the recent years.

On the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, it said any delay in getting timely approvals has direct impact on the process of achieving subsequent approvals thereby adversely impacting the actual expenditure.

The committee suggested the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to closely monitor the projects’ progress and pursue the concerned ministries and departments and states for expeditious action so as to ensure there are no cost/time overruns.

Taking “serious note”, the committee said Rs 300 crore allocated for meeting cost of land and initial implementation cost for the exhibition-cum-convention centre here remained unutilised.

“The committee is appalled to note the progress in the matter,” it said adding the DIPP is still to procure the land from DDA.

“The committee is of the considered opinion that such as lackadaisical approach of the department has made the construction and the functioning of the ECC invariable delayed,” it said.

Further, it said the committee is perturbed by slash in funding for the special category states of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

“It notes that against year-wise outlay planned for 2015-16 of Rs 190 crore, the department had sought Rs 137 crore but only Rs 25 crore was allocated,” it added.


AP government plans to bring out MSME policy to give boost to entrepreneurship and employment

The Andhra Pradesh government plans to bring out a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) policy to give a boost to entrepreneurship and employment generation.

The new policy is set to give a huge boost to entrepreneurs by providing seed capital to them. The Chief Minister asked industries department officials to ensure that MSME employees are provided with training, technology and infrastructure up-gradation. Sharing his experience of meeting with China’s MSME Association, the Chief Minister asked the industries officials to work on creating an association for MSMEs which will bring in a proper structure and make them stakeholders in development of the industry.

“Computerise all the MSMEs in the state and strengthen them. We can also work in coordination with AP State Skill Development Corporation to upgrade skills of the workforce,” Naidu said. The upcoming policy on industrial parks proposes to treat “industrial parks” as an industry, the release said. Naidu asked the officials to look for groups or players who have the experience of constructing such parks. “APIIC can also look for players from China, Japan and other countries who are interested to develop such parks,” he added.

According to PTI, the Secretary of Industry and Investments, S S Rawat informed Naidu that the fiscal incentives proposed in the forthcoming MSME policy would be the best in the country. Officials told Naidu, who held a review on MSMEs recently, that the sector can attract investments worth Rs 1,200 crore and provide 2.7 lakh jobs during the next five years, according to an official release issued recently. Explaining that Andhra Pradesh has over 20 lakh MSMEs, Naidu was informed that about 25-30 per cent of the state’s employment owes to the sector.

Noting that the new policy would provide incentives to women, SC and ST entrepreneurs, the release said the policy envisages giving 15 per cent of Andhra Pradesh Industrial and Investment Corporation’s (APIIC) land to MSMEs. The new policy will also bring in a structure and bail out sick MSMEs. “We will also offer a subsidy on patent registrations and certifications of MSMEs,” Rawat said. He also suggested that MSMEs could be encouraged with annual awards based on innovation, quality of the product, employment generation and high growth in profit.


Mobile’s the way ahead for online shoppers

Business Standard

With mobiles providing anytime, any place shopping, and with smartphone use set to increase greatly, customers are switching to m-commerce

Nikita, who works in a publishing house, wanted to buy a laptop. After extensive research and making comparisons between the various models available, she finally found one that suited her budget and requirements. She checked out prominent e-commerce sites for the best deals and had almost bought the device, when her friend Ashish persuaded her to download the mobile application of one of the e-retailers that was offering a deal on the product. She saved at least Rs 2,000 on the purchase because she opted to buy via the mobile phone app. She joined a host of customers who are switching their loyalties from e-commerce to m-commerce.

Unlike Nikita, who was new to mobile phone purchases, there are many who have already explored this area. For instance, Shekhar, an architecture student, recently bought a high-end watch using a mobile phone app. That’s because he was getting the best discounts through the app. It was his first online transaction and he hasn’t looked back since. All his weekend trips to malls and movie theatres are now in cabs booked through mobile apps that have been offering deep discounts. Many taxi aggregators such as Uber, Ola, Meru and TaxiForSure have been offering discounts of between 20 and 100 per cent, depending on the day of the week and if you’re using the service for the first time.

Nikita and Shekhar are among the 120 million Indian mobile Internet users who have experienced the freedom of shopping through mobile apps – to shop at any given time, at any place, without the hassle of switching on another device and connecting it to the Internet. From cab services to furniture, books to grocery, automobiles to hotel bookings, shopping is now more instant than preparing a cup of noodles.

Seeking a better experience
Of course, mobile data access can be erratic and slow at times, resulting in an unsatisfactory shopping experience. And then, how does one figure out the design of a dress or a shoe on the small screen of a mobile phone? Those are concerns that will have to be addressed by Internet service providers and telecom companies in the near future. As for checking out the designs, phone screens are getting bigger anyway. Also, a majority of online shoppers identify designs in brick and mortar stores first and then buy them online at lower prices.

The fact that the mobile phone is the first Internet-linked screen for tens of thousands in this country makes the rush for online buying so unique in India. It’s the mobile phone that will help online retailers sell in small towns. That’s because small towns are low on computer and broadband connectivity but high on their fancy for smartphones, which mostly cost less than PCs (personal computers).

No wonder Myntra, which gets 90 per cent of its traffic from mobile devices, is thinking of moving to an app-only platform. Others such as Flipkart and Snapdeal are already going all out on mobile apps. Even online travel sites such as MakeMyTrip are offering discounts on bookings when a user chooses an app-transaction. The latest reports suggest many smaller start-ups in grocery, restaurant and the online dating space are planning an app-only strategy.

E-commerce majors are already witnessing a majority of their sales coming from mobile devices
The number of mobile Internet users is expected to swell up to 480 million by 2017
At the moment, the number of mobile Internet users in India is estimated at about 120 million, compared with the 100 million who use the Internet on computers
Websites of Flipkart and Myntra are not accessible though mobile-phone browsers
Mobile, or app-only, services enable greater customer service than a browser site, say companies
Ola, MakeMyTrip, Myntra, Limeroad offering schemes for users on app downloads
Amazon, Snapdeal have held exclusive sales on apps to attract consumers
Apps enable higher customer loyalty; help companies mine users better
A company has greater access to data on the phone through the app

There are reasons for businesses to do that. Companies with apps can capture customers’ loyalty ahead of competitors and “reside in their mobile phones”, according to experts. This would help them understand customer preferences better and before others do, which could then translate into higher transactions.

“Most leading B2C (business to customer) portals in India already get over 50 per cent of their traffic from mobile devices. So, they now want to increase their interaction with customers and apps are the best way to do so,” Dinesh Gulati, director at online B2B (business to business) marketplace IndiaMART, recently told Business Standard. “Apps allow us to engage with customers, more as they are logged in on their devices throughout the day,” he added. Mobile applications not only help companies in assessing user experience better, but also make the technology back-end management lighter and easier.

Going mobile
A recent MasterCard shopping survey said that online purchases through mobile phones in India have grown more than 100 per cent in the last two years. So, there’s no doubt that the next battle for the e-commerce companies will be fought on handsets.

The numbers tell their own story: mobile Internet users in India are estimated at 120 million, compared with 100 million who use the Internet on computers. This is in spite of Internet on computers having been around for two decades in the country, while mobile phone data is relatively new. This is further backed by the number of mobile phone users as against landline subscribers: the total subscriber base in the country stands at 964 million, of which 937 million are wireless users.

It isn’t a surprise then that predictions for 2015 from Deloitte’s Technology and Media & Telecommunications India showed an increase in the value of m-commerce-based transactions in India. The figure went from Rs 7,800 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 36,000 crore in 2014-15.

“The ‘mobile first’ nature of the Indian Internet user base would further the usage of mobiles as the preferred channel for commerce in the country,” Deloitte said in its report. “Favourable regulatory policies related to access to FDI (foreign direct investment), ease of MNP (mobile number portability), free roaming and decreasing rates have led to a tremendous increase in the mobile subscriber base in the country. With PC penetration languishing in single digits, mobiles become the obvious choice for attaining a wider reach… Deloitte predicts a new breed of service, which touches the daily lives of the consumer, will play a pivotal role in the growth of e/m-commerce in next two years.”

India currently has the third highest population of smartphone users after China and the US. According to research and analysis firm Emarketer, India is all set to overtake the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market, with over 200 million users by 2016.

Highlighting the importance of m-commerce in the country, 98 per cent of the respondents in a recent survey by mobile e-commerce platform StoreHippo said creating a mobile website or app for a company’s online store was a must for the “success of any business today”. About 120 companies participated in the survey.

It is for that kind of success that e-commerce players are putting all their might into technology acquisition. This will be critical for staying ahead in business and inching towards profitability. Snapdeal’s recent acquisition of FreeCharge – at an estimated $450 million – is just an example of how much technology matters to win the e-commerce game on mobile devices.


IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum kick starts today in Faridabad

In its 5th edition, the Discussion Forum focuses on ‘Make In India’ as a key theme

New Delhi, April 24, 2015: IndiaMART, India’s largest online marketplace connecting buyers and suppliers, today commences the fifth season of its unique initiative for SMEs – IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum, in association with ZEE Business. Centering all its discussions around the key theme ‘Make In India – Unleashing the SME potential’, the Forum would serve as a key platform for the small and medium enterprises to raise their concerns, and also exchange ideas and opinions related to their business growth with eminent industry stalwarts.

Sharing his outlook on this year’s forum, Mr. Dinesh Gulati, Director, IndiaMART, said, “I am extremely delighted to inaugurate the 5th season of this esteemed forum, which would focus on the country’s most ambitious program ‘Make In India’. The campaign, as we know, is a national revolution for SMEs, having a great potential to strengthen the Indian economy. Garnering an overwhelming response from the Indian businesses in the last 4 years, the Forum has successfully travelled to various different cities of India and touched the lives of over 50,000 SMEs, discussing about their growth concerns on a bigger platform. This year too, IndiaMART Emerging Business Forum would be held across different locations in India to ensure that every business challenge gets a platform for resolution, leading to the fulfillment of our vision of improving the ease of doing business in the country.”

The forum kick-starts today at Hotel Vivanta by Taj in Faridabad and aims to bring together over 200 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from across the industry and discuss around the key issue ‘Helping SMEs make in India’. The ceremony would be graced by the presence of prestigious industry leaders like Mr. Rajiv Chawla, President, Faridabad Small Industries Association, Mr. Ravindra Nath, CMD, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Mr. Ajay Thakur, Head, BSE, Mr. Ramesh Suri, Chairman, Subros and Mr. SP Singh, General Manager, SBI.

Mr. Gulati adds, “Through the Emerging Business Forum, we look forward to bring an experience that is bigger and better for the Indian businesses. I am hopeful that we would be able to make a difference and bring out the best for them by giving them maximum opportunities for learning and growth.”

After being held in Faridabad, the forum would travel to 13 different Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities including Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Surat, Vadodra, Bengaluru, Indore, Pune and Mumbai, where it would unfold a series of profound discussions along with various influential industry experts on important topics related to the growth and development of SMEs in the country. The grand finale would be conducted in Delhi in the month of October.

About IndiaMART
IndiaMART is India’s largest online marketplace, connecting buyers with suppliers (small and medium sized businesses). The company offers a platform & tools to over 1.5 million suppliers to generate business leads from over 10 million buyers, who use the platform to find reliable & competitive suppliers. The company has over 2600 employees located across 40+ offices in the country. Its existing investors include Intel Capital and Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.

For more information, please visit:

Media Contacts:
Rashi Tarika
Mobile: +91 9818830468

It’s Harvest 2015. And we are Reaping…

Tim lakh lakh, tey tim lakh lakh…

If that rings a bell, you seem to be familiar with the significance the occasion carries . And even if it doesn’t, do continue to read on!
Vaisakhi, or better known as Baisakhi in many regions, is a festival enthusiastically celebrated in Punjab. But given the fact that India is a vastly diverse country, it is celebrated all over the nation by people from all walks of life.

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Celebrating 19 years of Commitment

“The work of today is the history of tomorrow”
—- Unknown
…and so IndiaMART has created a history of 19 years, with its persistence for excellence.

Everything was set, life was going easy for Dinesh Agarwal who was doing well in his career, minting dollars in U.S in the early 90’s. Life was a cakewalk, but that was not his idea of leading a life. For a person who constantly sought new challenges and had larger than life aspirations, the cubical in CDOT could not contain him. Well, it was this determination which actually laid the foundation for IndiaMART, India’s largest online marketplace today, founded on April 1, 1996.

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART

The journey ever since, has been an exciting one. With the rapid advancement in technology and consumer behavior, the marketplace kept evolving each year, with an aim to best suit the consumers’ changing needs at all times. It feels good, when one looks back. But, this is not at all the end. It is just a beginning! (picture abhi baaki hai mere dost)

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART

When the whole world was cracking jokes and playing pranks, IndiaMART was celebrating its 19th Founder’s day on 1st April 2015.
The day began with an auspicious Puja ceremony and a biiigggg surprise for everyone. We at IndiaMART love to pamper our employees, as we believe that “a happy employee is a productive employee”, and so our employees enjoyed a grand lunch sponsored by IndiaMART on the occasion. The enthusiasm of the IndiaMARTians and their proactive participation in the Founder’s day treat took the celebrations to a great level.
Ahh…ha…what a break!!!

Walking the path alone perhaps, might not have been possible. This is where the large number of employees and customers come into picture, where they truly acted as strong pillars, supporting the growth of the organization and making this journey a whole lot easier. A big thanks to all for lending the zeal to relentlessly strive for brilliance, kyunki “Kaam Yahin Banta Hai”!

Entering the 20th year now, it is time to see what ‘BIG’ things are in store. It is also the time to gear up for the next innings of the 20:20 match!