UTV Channel Times
A conference titled “Free for SMEs” was organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in association with IndiaMART.com, in an attempt to boost the use of Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) to give a much-needed impetus to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This conference saw the coming together of MSME experts who spoke about ways to implement ICT to record growth that would further drive the Indian economy.
Guest of Honour, Dinesh Rai, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises 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 customised solutions to MSMEs. These programmes range from raising awareness to providing high-end ICT solutions. He also added that the SME sector in India, that employs 59.7 million people spread over 26 million enterprises, has been growing at a healthy rate of 12 percent.
Welcoming the gathering, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of IndiaMART.com said, “The need of hour is to look at innovative methods and devise ways to maximise the use of Internet and technology to gain more. Lack of awareness about the power of Internet has to be overcome to adopt ICT to drive MSMEs.” 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. He further said that the adoption of ICT in India is directly proportional to accessibility and infrastructure development. “The growing influence of ICT in SMEs has brought about transparency in the functioning of businesses and government,” Bharadwaj added.
The session came to an end 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 the potential of ICT can be utilized by SMEs for increasing their productivity.