The Economic Times,
Honouring the Growth Enablers
Today, SMEs account for nearly 45% of the country’s industrial output and contribute over Rs. 30,000 crores to the manufacturing output and over Rs. 12,000 crores to the total export. SMEs manufacture over 8000 products, which constitutes close to over 9% of India’s GDP
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Similarly, the titans of commerce start with a passionate idea that is translated into a small business. And like the seed of mighty tree, that small business becomes mediumsized, and then finally transitions into a gigantic conglomerate that goes on to straddle the globe. But small and medium enterprises (SME) are more than the giants of tomorrow. They are a very vital lifeline of today. As on date, SMEs account for nearly 45% of the country’s industrial output and contribute over Rs. 30,000 crores to the manufacturing output and over Rs. 12,000 crores to the total export. They manufacture over 8000 products, which constitutes close to over 9% of India’s GDP.
Clearly, SMEs are the biggest building blocks of India’s economic growth, so it is important to recognize the importance of the SMEs and nurture them. ET NOW and IndiaMART.com have been doing just that through the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards. The third edition of the awards was held in Delhi recently. While the award has garnered a good response from its very first edition, this year the response was staggering with 63,000 nominations. This year the number of categories was increased from 15 to 17, including a special ‘Game Changer’ category to recognize the SME that promises to change the fundamentals in its chosen field.
The cold, winter evening began on the warm notes of the band Advaita. Their melodious performance gave way to the ET NOW hosts, Paromita Chatterjee and Mridu Bhandari who introduced the theme for this year -‘Building Blocks – the Growth Enablers’. The awards ceremony was preceded by a very thoughtful and thought provoking panel discussion which presented a much nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs as well as the advantages that they can capitalize on. In the welcome address, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO of IndiaMART said, “It is with great pleasure that I share the fact that the Leader of Tomorrow Awards is now India’s biggest SME award with 63,000 nominations this year. The SME are also growing. From a mere 6% odd contribution to the GDP in 2001, it is estimated that the SME contribution to the GDP in 2012 is 22%.”
SMEs are a major growth driver for the Indian economy. But the real insight of the evening was provided by the next speaker, the guest of honour, Sunil Mittal, founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises. A first generation entrepreneur and one of the first Indian entrepreneurs who went on to consolidate his SME into one of India’s largest conglomerates, Sunil Mittal has a unique and hands-on insight into SMEs, which he shared with the SMEs present at the awards ceremony.
The awards ceremony was followed with an address by Anand Sharma, the Union Minister for Commerce & Industry & Textiles, chief guest for the evening. He pointed out not only the vitality of the SME sector but more importantly, the incredible contribution they are making to the economy of the country and society with their manufacturing prowess and job creation. The evening ended with the note of thanks by Avinash Kaul, CEO , ET NOW, TIMES NOW and zoOm…