Let Us Celebrate SME Success Stories

SME

In our obsession with large businesses and Mcap, the fact that SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are the lifeline of India’s economic resurgence may be an inconvenient truth. More than 40 per cent of India’s GDP contribution comes from SMEs. They are indeed the unsung heroes of the ‘Make in India’ battle cry.
Even in Kerala, the SME sector is the single largest employer and highest contributor to the State’s GDP. More than 40 lakh people are employed directly and indirectly by SMEs.

It was V Rajagopal, CEO of K-BIP, who suggested why not we look at SMEs instead of large businesses which everyone is eager to recognise and celebrate! We had reservations because large businesses are easy to find and easier to evaluate. How do we find deserving SMEs? Many of them do not like the limelight and are apprehensive about media attention. He assured us all support and that is how Destination Kerala SME Excellence Awards was born. By the time you read this, the maiden edition of this event presented by NeST Group in association with K-BIP, KSSIA and KCCI would have recognized 11 worthy SMEs selected by an independent jury of distinguished business leaders, at a glittering event held at Hotel Crowne Plaza Kochi on December 1.

However, times have not been great for SMEs. The bad patch started with the Central Government’s irrational decision to demonetise which was followed by the hasty implementation of the GST. Add to this the numerous hurdles and harassment from the LSG bodies plus the menace posed by militant trade unionism.

While the GST Council is yet to get its act right, the good news is that the LDF Government has shown the political will to promulgate the ‘revolutionary’ Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Ordinance 2017 that can improve Kerala’s ranking in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ (EoDB) index nationally. The Act which will see amendments in seven legislations can tremendously help SMEs and transform the State into a vibrant investment destination and accelerate its industrial growth. If SME products can be given preference in procurement by the Government, it will act as a major fillip to the sector. This has been done in the case of Startups and can be done for SMEs too. Let us celebrate entrepreneurship, especially the SME kind to realise the ‘Make in Kerala’ dream.