The government has launched two portals to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access new markets.
The websites, www.nmcc-vikas.gov.in and www.nmcc-vikas.in, are India’s first national manufacturing portals, launched as a public-private partnership between the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council and Microsoft Corp.
The websites aim to enable easier and faster interaction between manufacturing companies and their suppliers, customers, financiers and the government. The council believes it is possible to increase sales of SMEs by up to 50% as an immediate outcome of the project.
The council says that even well-known and successful small-industry clusters such as the textile units in Tirupur, in Tamil Nadu, will benefit from the effort. Tirupur has nearly 2,000 exporters and 10,000 vendors. The council is targeting 25 industrial clusters over the next five years.
Council chairman V. Krishnamurthy said that over the last one year, Tirupur textile cluster was a showcase of the business benefits from e-readiness. Tirupur has set up a vendor management module, that allows its exporters to integrate with their suppliers.
The council says 400 modern SME clusters and some 2,000 clusters of rural or artisan-based enterprises account for 75% of workforce and 60% of manufactured exports in India. However, less than a 10th have access to formal credit.
“Enhancing global competitiveness in manufacturing is crucial for inclusive growth,” said Krishnamurthy. “Information technology use is almost negligible” among them.
“We have learnt the importance of partnerships, including those in local clusters. It is imperative that manufacturing should draw out a winning strategy for a global footprint. Technology can be a crucial enabler for bringing about this leap,” said Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft (India) Ltd.
According to Alok Shende, vice-president, information and communication technologies pratice, Frost and Sullivan India, part of a global growth consulting firm, Project Vikas will have beneficial effects. “It is a good deal to reduce costs and bring transparency into the system. However, it does not lead to enough compelling drivers that will increase output by 50%.”