Coming soon: Alibaba and Amazon like ecommerce platform for MSMEs
Creating a launchpad
Aimed at providing a launchpad to country's MSMEs to tap foreign markets, the MSME ministry is set to unveil an ecommerce platform on the lines of Amazon and Alibaba. This was announced recently by the Union MSME minister Nitin Gadkari. The digital platform, to be called, Bharat Craft, will be designed to emulate the success stories of the two ecommerce majors. The platform will be used to promote goods from Khadi and Village Industries, handloom and handicrafts, textiles, leather goods and other sectors.
Using effective marketing tools
Contributing 45% to manufacturing output and 40% of exports, the MSME employs around 120 million people. The absence of effective marketing tools and techniques is often regarded as the key impediments hurting the sector. "In the growth of China's business ecosystem, the role of Alibaba has been very effective and on similar lines, the MSME department, in association with the commerce ministry's GeM portal will launch this marketing platform," said Gadkari.
MSME: Backbone of Indian economy
The MSME sector is and regarded as the backbone of the Indian economy. It churns out over 6000 products which are highly sought after across the global marketplaces. It employs 40% of the country's workforce, next only to the agricultural sector. The sector has the potential to spread industrial growth across the country. According to Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), the share of MSME related products in total export from India during 2018-19 stood at 48.10%.
Making MSMEs future ready
Underlining the need for keeping the sector in sync with the latest best practices, the Union MSME minister said that the recent times had highlighted the need to encourage research and innovation in the sector and collaborating with foreign firms to bring in the latest technology and promoting marketing ideas. For this a portal is being planned where people can post new ideas, suggestions and innovations. This will help develop a bank of innovation and ideas where all stakeholders can share their suggestions, technologies etc.
Due to lack of hand-holding by the government and other associations, the MSMEs have been struggling on many fronts, believes the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME). "The three main structural problems that are affecting the growth of Indian to MSMEs are: Difficulty in availing credit facility, use of inferior technology and difficulty in accessing markets. They are not finding proper marketplaces to showcase their products. A lack of marketing strategy also makes it tough for them to compete against large players in volatile markets," feels Sanjiv Layek, WASME's Executive Secretary.