Lessons From Recession Will Help SMEs’ Future Roadmap

  • Learning lessons from recession important for future upswing.
  • SMEs should graduate from growth by default to growth by design.
  • SME Credit rating can act as bridge between SMEs and lending institutions.

New Delhi, 30 November 2009: The issue of raising a robust tech-aligned SME in India came in for intensive discussion at the “Envisioning the Wired SME” conference, organized by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and IndiaMART.com, at the Sheraton, Saket, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Discussing the issue of propelling the growth of SMEs in a focused session, Mr. Rakesh Rewari, Deputy Managing Director, SIDBI, who also chaired the session, noted, “Despite the recession, the Indian SME has been able to produce winners in the midst of a global slowdown, because they largely do not have any capital expenditure or big buck spends.” Exhorting SMEs to learn from their showing in the past two years and prepare for the post-recession upswing, Rewari said, “Product diversification and tapping the overseas market will always allow an SME to sustain its value and grow faster.” Panelists for the session included Praful Jain, Head, Enterprise Practice, Markets, KPMG, R. Ganesh, Deputy General Manager, ICICI Bank and Parag Patki, CEO, SME Rating Agency of India.

Addressing the importance of growth, at a time many SMEs have managed to make a standing for themselves in the market, Praful Jain, Head, Enterprise Practice, Markets, KPMG, emphasized on the criticality of courage and conviction and a dire need to innovate, which would go a long way in overcoming resource crunch, something that plagues almost every SME. “With a problem-solving approach, if SMEs can use their existing resources judiciously, there is a conscious effort required to convert growth by default into growth by design. That will become a pillar for its growth.”

Addressing the need gap of SMEs’ needing small funding, R. Ganesh, Deputy General Manager of ICICI Bank, underlined the bank’s commitment to SMEs, which gets addressed by a separate dedicated SME unit, which addresses the needs of SMEs, which are not big enough to attract the attention of venture capital funds or angel investors. Asking SMEs to become more transparent and accountable for better credit support, Ganesh said, “There are limitations. Banks are extremely conscious about an SME’s transaction history, and that is where most SMEs cannot sail through.”

Parag Palki, CEO, SME Rating Agency of India, outlined the gradually increasing significance of a credit rating regime, which helps SMEs liaise with banks and funding agencies, by proving their credentials. “The mission is to act as a bridge between SMEs and lending institutions. A good rating will automatically aid and support an SME’s growth story.”

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