The Indian MSME sector has been in the center of attention for economists, advisory council, the Ministry of MSME and multiple other stakeholders.
By Ashish Raheja
The Indian MSME sector has been in the center of attention for economists, advisory council, the Ministry of MSME and multiple other stakeholders. This sector alone is responsible for contributing 8% to the nation’s GDP, adding 40% of the country’s total exports and has also witnessed consistent growth of 10% over the past few years as per Planning Commission data. Adding about 45% to the total industrial output of which about 95% is consumed domestically, MSME sector plays a crucial role in the socio-economic transformation of the country and hence calls for investments and interest.
The Government’s ‘Make In India’ project envisions growth and proliferation of this industry in the coming years. Responsible for creating millions of jobs every year, the unorganized sector and the SME sector faces challenges at multiple levels in business processes, amenities and access to good transport systems, credit gaps etc. In the past few years, real estate enterprises have seen increased interest from state governments, industry bodies and the government in setting up designated industrial parks, offering comprehensive facilities capable of scaling as per the size of operations and a gamut of attractive facilities to promote industrial growth.
The MSME owners can now set up their complete infrastructure within industrial parks, having excellent access to transport via the industrial corridor and the network of highways, coupled with state of the art facilities and infrastructure.
The go-to market for industrial outputs is practically everywhere including large metros and clusters of industrial towns scattered across the country. To tap these markets, MSMEs need to be able to reduce operational costs and focus on up scaling.
To provide excellent infrastructure and facilities to the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises around large metros and important freight corridors, large real estate developers have forayed into the development of industrial parks. Addressing the challenges of continuous power and water supply for industrial units, waste and drainage treatment systems, freight elevators, loading unloading bays and adequate lighting, these industrial parks are providing the next phase of support to the smaller enterprises.
Challenges for the MSME sector and for facilitating their growth involves ease of doing business, faster clearances, freedom from red tape regulations and everything that adds sluggishness to the progress. The ‘Make In India’ project has dedicated itself in enabling these opportunities to smaller enterprises to set up and scale their business spanning across sectors such as industrial manufacturing, foundry and electricals, agro and food processing, electronics, chemicals, leather and textile, defense and aviation and many more.
More encouragement needs to be extended to real estate developers in building industrial facilities to support this enormous economic growth engine. The stumbling blocks in unlocking the power of the MSMEs will need adequate support from the state and local authorities by simplifying the complex approval processes and deterrents such as continuously evolving regulations for this segment.
Industrial parks, strategically located to good transport with planned modern layout, the latest technologies along with infrastructure for warehousing, storage, packaging and service industries within one compound with all possible amenities equip the MSMEs for efficient industrial operation. The time is ripe to recognize these potential growth zones and create an environment conducive to enhancing productivity for the micro, small and medium enterprises that are offered by an industrial park.
Ashish Raheja is Managing Director of Raheja Universal