Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that with the global supply chain undergoing significant restructuring, and countries looking to diversify their supply out of China, Indian MSMEs have a great opportunity of being integrated into these global supply chains. He said
digitally empowering MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) will propel the country faster towards the vision of Digital India and catapult Make in India to go global and create digitally enabled robust business that power livelihoods in the entire community.
“They are the backbone of our country, and the MSME sector has created more than 11 crore jobs contributes to 1/3 of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) and around half of its exports,” said Gadkari at e-commerce giant Amazon’s flagship event Amazon Smbhav 2021. “With time it has become increasingly clear that the technology will be a very critical factor in defining the success and competitiveness of Indian MSMEs both domestically as well as globally in the days to come.”
Such a transformation will have a multiplier effect by increasing consumption, spurring manufacturing, growth, and export and ultimately promoting inclusive economic growth – the True Vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Gadkari said Covid-19 posed some very serious challenges to the MSME sector.
“But I’m proud to say that our MSMEs were able to adapt to the changing circumstances and eventually help India get back on its growth trajectory,” said Gadkari. “We took some steps in coming up with relief packages to help review the MSME sector. Early on itself, we announced a financial package of one lakh crore for reviving MSMEs that were affected by the lockdown.”
The economy will play a definite role in helping India’s MSME succeed. Gadkari said there is a need to ensure that the digital transformation of MSME is taking place at a pace that enables them to capitalize on this current opportunity. In parallel, there needs to be a greater focus on capacity building for MSMEs. This includes helping these MSMEs with the right inputs on design, manufacturing, maintaining product quality and scaling their business.
Gadkari said e-commerce players such as Amazon should continue to focus on such capacity-building activities. The adoption of technology coupled with the right inputs and maintaining quality will define the long term success of this sector.
“I was very pleased to hear that today. 2.5 million MSMEs work with Amazon India, including sellers, artisans, weavers, delivery and logistics services. Amazon has also enabled $3.3 billion in cumulative exports,” said Gadkari. “I have been made to understand that it took Amazon Global Selling exports program three years to get the first billion in export. The second billion came in 18 months, and the third billion has taken just 12 months. This is a great example of the dynamism of our MSMEs and a proof of how we have the potential to succeed across global markets and realize the true potential of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
E-commerce has enabled small and marginal sellers by expanding their outreach, not only nationally, but also globally. Gadkari urged Amazon and all other stakeholders, industry leaders and experts present at the Smbhav event to keep investing to enhance the potential of India’s MSMEs and make them more successful and profitable. “Technology will be a key driver to that growth, and therefore digitalising millions of Indians MSMEs should be the top priority.”
Gadkari said that he is pleased that Amazon has been partnered with the TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) and NEHHDC (North Eastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation) to focus on empowering 50,000 weavers, artisan and small business in the region by 2025. Amazon is bringing 5000 plus unique crops, geographical indication products and other local products on the Indian marketplace and boosting exports of special commodities from the Northeast like tea, honey and spices to millions of customers globally.
Amazon India will be also using technology, training and enablement capability to power local shops across India to sell online and will bring 1 million local shopkeepers and kirana store owners to sell on Amazon by 2025.
“All of these are very important commitments. And I’m glad to see Amazon directional thinking to empower India’s MSME sector,” said Gadkari. “This will give an impetus to our MSMEs and to our economy in the long term.”