Public-private partnerships for digital MSMEs: Navneet Sehgal,Secy MSME

Public-private partnerships for digital MSMEs: Navneet Sehgal,Secy MSME

Mr Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Information, MSME, Export Promotion, Khadi & Village Industry, Uttar Pradesh Government, stated today that the state has the highest number of MSMEs in the country and that there is a need to collaborate with the private sector to digitise MSMEs.

Mr Sehgal stated during the session on Digitizing MSMEs at FICCI MASSMERIZE 2021- 11th Edition of FICCI's Annual Conference on Retail, FMCG, and E-commerce that the pandemic increased demand for contact-free services and raised concerns about supply chain resilience. Almost all MSMEs in India have stated that they require digital transformation. "We have already begun a survey in which our teams are contacting MSMEs in the unorganised sector," he explained. Assisting MSMEs in strengthening their resilience at a time when many are confronted with extraordinary hurdles in the aftermath of the epidemic will improve their economic engagement. "It is past time for digital specialists to provide a solution to the issues confronting MSMEs, from which they may gain significantly," he added.

He added that another critical requirement for MSMEs' digital transformation is the availability of proper technology capable of converting their marketing systems to a digital version. He continued by stating that the challenge for MSMEs in terms of digitalization is that there are no consistent and universal solutions that would work for everyone. "Because these MSMEs are so small, they are unable to tailor their digital solutions," Mr Sehgal explained.

Mr Ateesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSME, stated that MSMEs have been the backbone and growth engines of the economy for decades and are now battling to stay afloat in these unusual times. Adopting digital technology enables them to capitalise on opportunities in today's rapidly changing world. "Mr Singh explained that many MSMEs are still unaware of the digital impact, which makes it difficult for them to keep consumer loyalty. MSMEs also confront a number of other obstacles, including technological illiteracy, inefficient supply chains, an unstable market environment, and a lack of finance. Given these obstacles, he stated, it is vital to strengthen MSMEs' digital literacy in order for them to make the best use of technology-enabled platforms.

"We look forward to developing a data framework system and streamlining the evolution process to make it more intelligent, real-time, focused, and transparent. "Our goal is to gain access to the government's impact and programmes, to identify gaps, reduce duplication, and foster synergy among states and departments "The Joint Secretary stated.

The Ministry of MSMEs' initiatives are undergoing a reorganisation, and we are redeveloping various IT-based solutions, Mr Singh explained. In terms of government initiatives, he noted the Champions portal and portal of portals, both of which aim to increase engagement within the MSME sector. "The MSME Digital Scheme assists MSMEs in establishing a digital identity, provides mentoring, training, and capacity building, as well as cost sharing and risk mitigation," he explained.

We wish to assume the position of a true resolution provider, providing guidance, analysing data, and converting it to decision-making points. "We are establishing a 24-hour customer service centre to assist MSMEs in entering the digital area," he explained. Additionally, there will be a portal that will serve as the vehicle for implementing programmes and will contain all information on service providers, as well as give them with online training and e-literacy, Mr Singh noted.

According to Mr Osama Manzar, Founder of the Digital Empowerment Foundation, "One of our most significant problems is determining how to prioritise bridging the gender and digital divides in the context of MSMEs. Unless we involve women in our micro-nano enterprise, it will fail to grow "'He stated.

Mr Sundeep Mohindru, Founder & Director - M1Xchange, stated that 90% of their funding to MSMEs has gone to micro and small businesses located in 608 tiny towns and villages around India.

Mr Nilaya Varma, Co-Founder and CEO of Primus Partners, stated that there are sufficient technology and private sector options for digitization that are extremely cost effective. Today, e-Commerce platforms serve 95% of India's pin codes. MSMEs operate in all states of India.

Mr Vivek Lohcheb, Vice President, Offline Business - PhonePe, stated that customers are using digital payments in every corner of the country.

Ms Keyzom Ngodup Massally, Asia Pacific Regional Lead, Better Than Cash Alliance, moderated the session.