14th February 2023: The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Ahmedabad and NCR chapters organised a conference on SMEs – Building in India for the World at Novotel, Ahmedabad. The esteemed panel consisted of Mr Amit Moga, Co-founder, of Doctorpreneur Academy, Mr Indrajeet Mitra, Joint Managing Director, of Gateway Group of Companies, and Mr Vishal Prakash Shah, Co-founder, of Synersoft Technologies.

The conference witnessed valuable insights from several dignitaries, entrepreneurs, students, and professionals. The event was graced by the presence of Mr Shailesh Patwari, Advisory Board Member, India SME Forum and former President, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The session was supported by ASSOCHAM, India Mart, and Lufthansa.

Commenting on the analogy between the parallel growth opportunity of the auto-ancillary industry and defence contracting by which MSMEs in the electronic industry benefitted, Mr Vishal Prakash Shah, Co-founder, of Synersoft Technologies, said, “Indian MSMEs are the biggest beneficiaries of vendor development programmes for auto-giants like Tata, Bajaj, and Maruti, which started in Pune and Manesar and further got established in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, helping India to clinch 4th spot at the global table. So, we can expect to witness such parallel evolution of the defence industry and auto-ancillary industry in recent times. Today, Pune alone has 4,000 MSME units sustaining 5,00,000 jobs. According to market research, there are 50,000 plus MSME units across India creating eight million jobs in the auto-ancillary sector. This analogy has been suggesting that privatisation of the defence sector will provide the industry with another excellent opportunity to grow. Interestingly this sector has similar skills, plant setup, and workforce. Under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Government of India will be playing the same role as the big automobile conglomerates. If we base the auto-ancillary model on getting acquainted with the defence manufacturing contract business, we shall see two differences. It will not be sensitive to the economic cycle because we have seen the consistent allocation of funds for defence in the union budget, which makes it attractive. Secondly, MSMEs will have to adapt to systems and practices in compliance with strict information security and data protection. In the electronics vertical, there is an excellent opportunity for MSMEs. India is heavily import-dependent in the sourcing of electronic components. Recent announcements about chip manufacturing in India will maximise chip manufacture. To be precise, chip manufacturing will be commoditised and expose many opportunities for MSMEs. India has a huge talent pool that earns $150 billion in software exports and very few of us know that 20 per cent of the chip designers are Indians. This provides our country a huge opportunity to grow in the electronics sector. The industrial transformation has already started through smart manufacturing, IoT, and AI-backed products. Software is India’s forte and it has the talent to make the best out of the local availability of chips and sensors, therefore, the business will focus on local consumption of the chips and sensors providing a fantastic opportunity for start-ups and MSMEs to ride this wave. But again, the MSMEs players in this industry will have to be provided with cybersecurity and insider threat mitigation. They have to be subject to strict compliance. This is a significant challenge for MSMEs. It is observed that MSMEs are reluctant adopters of software and technology and only acknowledge them during crises. MSMEs should change to unlock opportunities.”