New Delhi: Taking a business from a one-man property to a corporate-type enterprise in India is no mean task. And for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), this journey of growth is all the more difficult, given the resource crunch and technology challenges. Dwelling upon the issue, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and IndiaMART.com organized the Envisioning the Wired SME conference, at the Sheraton, Saket, in New Delhi, recently.
Touching upon the right time to scale, Mr. Harish Gandhi, Executive Director, Canaan Partners, advised young entrepreneurs to critically analyze their businesses. “SMEs in India operate under a risky market ecosystem. Businesses differ in their micro-environments, risk-taking ability, size, and scale. With new businesses opening up every day the world over, establishing yourself as a credible player in the market is one of the biggest issues for SMEs. To sustain in the market, have your processes right and keep transactions transparent,” he said.
Besides the market scenario, management and training is one area that plays a major role in taking a business to new heights. Addressing the issue, Mr. H. K. Mittal, Advisor and Head, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, elaborated on entrepreneurship development institutes and incubation centers and the benefits (such as service tax exemptions) that such institutions provide to SMEs. As regards to why SMEs in India do not grow, Mr. Mittal said, “Complacency and managerial handicap prevent SMEs from growing big. The aim of becoming self-sufficient and the fear of losing control have been ailing the sector for long, which need to be changed.”
Representing the rating agency ICRA Online Ltd. on the panel, Mr. Rajesh Dubey, Executive Director, SME Ratings, talked at length on the connection between good ratings and scaling up, explaining why some SMEs fail to achieve make their mark. Scalability as regards to rating is seen in the light of whether a growing company can sustain its growth.
Promising companies with future vision and good ratings can jump the ladder and reach at a higher pedestal. Management bandwidth and business structuring also play an important role in how rating agencies rate a company, he said.
From producing inverters and UPS to rising to solar software and fuel cells exports, the success story of Mr. Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam, is an inspiration for many. Growing up from catering inverters to domestic markets, today the company exports inverters to developing nations in Africa and Middle East. Sharing his views on scaling up, Mr. Sachdev said, “Courage and conviction are the key players in making that significant difference to your business. Businesses have their ups and downs. What matters is your creativity, your passion to succeed, and your hard work.”
With six sessions touching every issue of the SME sector, right from domestic market, to marketing, to technology adoption, to growth, the conference provided an all-encompassing information exchange platform for entrepreneurs, CEOs, trade associations, government departments, educational institutions, and rating agencies from across India.