- IndiaMART.com & IAMAI catalyze exchange of ideas on free & low-cost ICT solutions for SMEs with Conference on ‘Free for SMEs’
- Chief Guest Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of MSME Shri Dinesh Rai delves on Government’s stimulus for ICT adoption by MSMEs
- Endeavour to augment overall efficiency of SMEs
- 500 strong SME audience reaffirms essence of conference
New Delhi, 7 July 2010: An endeavor to demystify the world of Information and Communication technology (ICT) for Indian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) took shape in the form of first-of-its-kind Conference on ‘Free for SMEs’ organized by IndiaMART.com and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi yesterday. The esteemed Chief Guest of the event Shri Dinesh Rai, Honorable Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises applauded the efforts to put together such a unique and crucial conference. Shri Dinesh Rai also unveiled an insightful Report synonymous with the theme of the event. A ready reckoner for SMEs, the report ‘Free for SMEs’ enlists and elucidates on the free and low-cost ICT solutions which can be leveraged by these enterprises to increase their productivity. Moreover, a strong participation from over 500 SMEs enunciated the entire relevance of the conference.
As part of the inaugural session, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, IndiaMART.com, stressed upon the use of ICT to drive SMEs growth while welcoming the audience. Further, Mr. Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Micro and Medium Enterprises (FISME) also shared his views.
Apprising on the government’s push for ICT adoption by SMEs, Shri Dinesh Rai, stated, “SMEs are the backbone of Indian industry. Growing at the rate of 12%, they host huge employment opportunities. However, the strong SME sector faces stiff competition from across the globe. Here, I feel ICT applications would play an essential role in helping SMEs fight this growing competition. In fact, Government of India has various programs to encourage ICT adoption amongst SMEs and further boost the economy. An ICT scheme was recently launched with a budget of Rs.105 crores, which entails clusters identification for ICT intervention, web portal development, local software preparation, e-catalogs construction, among others.”
Calling SMEs the engines of growth of economy in India and other emerging markets, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, said, “SMEs are crucial for the country to progress. Hence, it becomes all the more important to integrate them with ICT. However, the prevailing impediment of lack of its awareness has to be urgently overcome to drive growth of SMEs. And, this is where the significance of the Conference on ‘Free for SMEs’ is drawn from. The need of the hour for SMEs is to evaluate and utilize the optimal new age technology like Cloud Computing or other ICT solutions such as B2B Marketplaces, Social Media Marketing, email and SMS marketing, et al to enhance their businesses. Easily available, these solutions neither require huge investments nor complex infrastructure to support them.”
Citing a direct correlation between awareness and adoption of ICT by SMEs, Mr. Anil Bhardwaj, said, “Scope of growth through ICT is immense in India as its usage by SMEs is still at a nascent stage. We have observed that adoption of ICT is directly proportional to accessibility and infrastructure development in the country. Hence, once we address these two issues, we would inch closer to ICT adoption further bringing transparency in functioning of businesses.”
The zealous guests participating in the conference had various questions pertaining to the Government schemes for the ICT adoption by several segments. On being asked by Mr. Deepak Kumar if the schemes catered to mid-market companies like theirs (SAP Consultancy) and provided subsidies to them, Shri Rai replied, “We have been actively encouraging partnership in these programs. And, if your company becomes a technology partner in a local area, then it would be entitled to these subsidies.”