The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had organized a conference titled ‘Free for SMEs’ to boost the use of Internet and communication technology (ICT) amongst micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The conference, held in association with IndiaMART.com, saw MSME experts give advice on the ways businesses can implement ICT to grow and drive Indian economy.
Dinesh Rai, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises who was the guest of honor, spoke about Government of India’s various initiatives to promote the use of technology in MSMEs which are set to boost the economy. Describing MSMEs as the backbone of development of any economy, Rai highlighted a plethora of schemes launched by the Government to provide customized solutions to MSMEs. These programs range from raising awareness to providing high-end ICT solutions. Rai also added that the SME sector in India, that employs 59.7 million people spread over 26 million enterprises, has been growing at a rate of 12 percent.
Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of IndiaMART.com, said the need of hour is to look at innovative methods and devise ways to maximize the use of Internet and technology to gain more. He also drew attention to two main impediments that have restricted the use of ICT in India accessibility and affordability. Agarwal opined that addressing these two issues would provide simple and viable business solutions to MSMEs using technology.
Anil Bharadwaj, Secretary General, FISME, concurred that the use of Internet and mobile technology is still in its nascent stage in India and scope of growth leveraged by ICT was immense. Bharadwaj said that the adoption of ICT in India is directly proportional to accessibility and infrastructure development. The IAMAI ended with the release of a report titled ‘Free for SMEs: Free and Low cost ICT Solutions for SMEs’ by Dinesh Rai. The report gives an overall picture of how ICT can be utilized by SMEs for increasing their productivity.