IndiaMART, India’s largest online marketplace, recently organized the annual SME Conclave 2018 in association with TiE Delhi-NCR at the Welcome Hotel Sheraton in Saket. The conclave featured several leaders from the industry sharing their views on the initiatives taken during Budget 2017, the impact of 180 days of GST on Indian SMEs, and the innovative financing options available for the sector. SME expectations from Budget 2018 were also discussed at the IndiaMART event, as was the future course of action for the industry.
The event brought together TiE’s extensive mentor base and IndiaMART’s vast buyer and seller network to create a strong support system which provides a platform for doing business easily, as well as for sharing business-related advice with the SME sector. Amongst those in attendance were prominent names including Rakesh Rewari, (Ex Deputy Managing Director & Member of the Board of Directors of SIDBI), Raman Roy, (CMD, Quatrro & Board Member, TiE Delhi –NCR), R Muralidharan, (Senior Director – Indirect Taxes, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP), Ranjit Oak (Chief Business Officer – Corporate Travel, MakeMyTrip), and Anshuman Khanna (Principal, IvyCap Ventures).
Commenting on the conclave, Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART, said, “2017 was a crucial year for the Indian economy. Large-scale tax reforms like GST and progressive digitally-led business policies enabled the country to move up to the rank of 100 in the Ease of Doing Business index. Despite GST being a great step towards a unified tax structure, the past one year, however, has been challenging for Indian SMEs. I recommend to set up an empowered committee which can represent the Indian SMEs and their interest as a whole. Through this conclave, we want to reach out to these SME owners and help them in understanding the new tax regime better, as well as to assist them in accelerating their access to technology. Our aim is to help SMEs make the digital transition and fulfill the dream of nurturing tech-enabled, world-class enterprises within the country.”
Raman Roy, Quatrro & Board Member – TiE Delhi-NCR, said, “FinTech will grow in a big way in the country. I am amazed to hear that a service like ‘Pay with IndiaMART’ exists, which provides instant payments to businesses. There is no such service available globally. Such is the power of innovation in India. These are the kind of products and services that we need and would change the eco-system.”
Rajiv Chawla, Chairman – IamSMEofIndia, said, “In this budget, the government must focus on easing business operations for the MSME sector by providing subsidies on raw material procurement. Doing so will not only help in bringing down the cost of day-to-day operations for MSMEs, but will also enable them to sustainably scale their production output and drive greater growth.”
Rakesh Rewari, Ex-Deputy MD & Member of the Board of Directors – SIDBI, added, “The global business community is looking at India as an emergent business hub because it has the largest and most diverse domestic market in the world. The time is right for aspiring Indian entrepreneurs to take calculated risks and venture into the market with their own business ideas. But for them to be successful, it is important to create a thriving ecosystem that provides the requisite support needed to drive growth and scale. Entrepreneurs also need to understand the importance of perfecting their business plans before they pitch to prospective investors. India needs more businesses which generate lucrative employment opportunities for its burgeoning workforce. The MSME sector, with the right support, can give the Indian job market a major boost.”
While GST was aimed at enhancing the Indian economy, the transition from being an informal economy to a formal one has given rise to significant challenges. Addressing them requires the government to initiate substantial modifications in the upcoming Union Budget, so that Indian industries and SMEs can reap the maximum benefits from the initiative. IndiaMART’s latest endeavor ties-in with its long-term commitment to empower Indian SMEs in collectively understanding and preparing themselves for the future, and to power India’s economy to new heights.