In India, if any segment can be labelled as the silent pillar of the economy, it is the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Sector. As a major employer of India’s informal workforce, MSMEs have been instrumental in manufacturing goods at reasonable rates, helping retailers maintain moderate margins even during the dark days of the pandemic. This was possible because of its major presence in the manufacturing of varied products across verticals.
On this World MSME Day, Mr Sumesh Goswami, Sr. Vice President, Procurement Cadila Pharmaceuticals, sheds some light on the role of MSMEs in the Indian economy and how supporting them in the post-pandemic period is critical for growth.
“The MSME sector is an icon of sustainable and inclusive development, offering enormous employment and entrepreneurial opportunities throughout India. The sector has always maintained a high growth rate, manufacturing a wide range of products, from simple consumer goods to high precision, sophisticated finished goods. It has emerged as a major supplier of mass consumption goods as well as a producer of electronic and electrical equipment and drugs and pharmaceuticals,” says Mr Sumesh Goswami
Worldwide, MSMEs are considered as the engines of economic growth that promote equitable development. They constitute over 90% of total enterprises in most of the economies and are credited as the second largest employment-generating sector after agriculture employing around 120 million people. MSMEs also promote inclusive growth by providing employment opportunities in rural areas e.g. Khadi and Village industries.
Moreover, MSMEs contribute significantly to exports and overall GDP growth of the country. With low investment requirements, operational flexibility and the capacity to develop appropriate indigenous technology, MSMEs have the power to propel India to new heights.
“We, at Cadila, also believe that MSME have the power to bring about an economic revolution and thus support their development in various ways. We deal with over 1000 MSMEs in different sectors from raw material procurement, Engineering and Chemicals to services and maintenance. ”added Mr Goswami.
The stringent lockdown in March 2020 forced almost all brick-and-mortar stores to shut down, but many MSMEs and traditional retailers kept operations running through different ways. With legacy retailers’ margins squeezed, MSMEs came to their rescue by offering the same category of products at affordable price points. However, as things start to return to normal in the months ahead, big retailers must continue sourcing goods from MSMEs and other small players who adhere to the quality parameters.
Stressing on manufacturing and maintaining good quality, Mr Goswami continues, “Cadila views MSMEs as the backbone of the national economic structure acting as bulwarks for the Indian economy, providing resilience to ward off global economic shocks and adversities. We focus on MSMEs with a dedicated team helping in their growth. We believe in the goals of sustainable, equitable and inclusive development and encourage interested MSMEs to reach out to us for displaying their products and services and so that we can help them in the best possible way.”