In India, the National Small Industry Day is an annual celebration observed on 30th August, to support and promote small scale Industries (SSIs or MSMEs) for their overall growth potential and contribution to economic growth. National Small Industry Day is a medium to provide balanced growth to existing SSIs and large-scale enterprises and render assistance for setting up new industries to boost the state’s financial health. The Government of India had reportedly introduced an extensive policy package for the small-scale industry on August 30, 2000, to support small businesses in the country and since then National Small Industry Day is observed every year dedicated to small enterprises. Small Scale Industries (SSIs) registration is used interchangeably with Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) registration while the MSME Development Act 2006 provides for facilitating the promotion, development, and enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs or SSIs. MSMEs/ SSIs are the backbone of any economy. In India, there are 63.39 million MSMEs across various industries, employing approximately 111 million people, of which 14% are women led – enterprises, and close to 51.25% are based in rural areas. The MSME sector is also extremely important as it accounts for 30% of India’s GDP and 49.5% of exports. The Ministry of MSME has been tirelessly working towards development of MSMEs and has undertaken interventions to enhance the MSME ecosystem in India. Some of the key reforms introduced by Ministry of MSME are: Revision of MSME definition, Udyam Registration, Champions Portal, National SC-ST Hub (NSSH), Self-Reliant India (SRI) Fund, Procurement Policy (GeM), Establishment of Enterprise Development Centers (EDCs). MSMEs today face risks of declining resources, increasing instances of climate change, stricter domestic and international regulations to ensure green and inclusive development and consumers’ demand to demonstrate transparency in operations and products. Clearly, MSMEs need to integrate sustainability which means adopting a balanced attitude towards environmental purity, social health and good business entity management. It signifies that small-scale industries need to use renewable natural resources instead of limited, rare and non-renewable resources. They will need to reduce the pollution caused by their operations and have to ensure safe disposal or better utilization of their waste. SSIs also have to face a competitive environment because of continuous changes in technology, privatization, globalization and liberalization. SSIs/ MSMEs have to explore new concepts, new models, new ideas and new forms of cooperation. In recent times, day by day manufacturing system existence has reshaped because of an eminent level of digitalization and tough competition, which one lead the way to a connected, brilliant and separated manufacturing. The Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) recognizes that integration of responsible business practices cannot happen in the Indian industry without involving the Indian MSME sector. This discourse becomes even more relevant as we look to enhance our manufacturing capabilities and many more MSMEs aim for integration into Global Value Chains. MSMEs should be supported adequately through technical assistance, affordable financing and building capacities to adopt more innovative and sustainable practices. Taking its work on this forward, CRB aims to convey the business case for sustainability, inclusivity and circular economy to the Indian SSIs and help create an ecosystem that supports MSMEs to be more sustainable. CRB is committed to support the small industry through capacity building and training, creating awareness on emerging sustainability discussions and opportunities, sustainability related advisory, and policy advocacy for MSMEs. This #SmallIndustryDay, let’s celebrate Small Scale Industries (#SSIs or #MSMEs) that are playing a big role in the country’s industrial and economic development, creating broader employment opportunities, assisting entrepreneurship and skill development.
“NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of CRB.”