India's success in small business hailed in S Africa

Monday, 28 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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JOHANNESBURG: India's success in the small and medium business sector was hailed as a model for other developing countries at an international gathering here.

Several speakers from India recounted the achievements and challenges of the sector at the 49th International Council for Small Business (ICSB) World Conference held here this week.

The theme of the three-day conference was "Globalisation and the Impact on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development in the Developing World".

"This sector accounts for about 95 percent of the industrial units and is contributing about 40 percent of the Indian economy," said Sudhir Jain, who teaches at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

"As in most developing and developed countries, the Small Scale Industry (SSI) sector has been contributing significantly to overall industrial and social development in India and is expected to continue to be of significance in the Indian economy in future," he said.

Jain highlighted the growth in the sector in 1991 under the then finance minister Manmohan Singh, who is currently India's prime minister.

"The major reforms brought about by Manmohan Singh were very well done and that started the basic process in India. Later governments continued the reforms in the same manner and we hope it will continue in the time to come," Jain told IANS after presenting a paper at the conference.

Jain proffered India's success in the sector as a role model for the fast-growing industry in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) of the former Soviet Union.

"Potentially, the sector may become the major catalyst of economic development for the whole CIS region. The CIS countries are in search for the optimal model of small and medium enterprise development.

"The Indian example of the existence and growth of small enterprises in the era of industrial liberalisation serves as the right role model for CIS countries."

Jain listed three main factors for the sector to be successful in any country as it has been in India.

"The government should support small and medium enterprises. Credit should be available and the country should generate first generation entrepreneurs who have the motivation and the determination to succeed. This needs to be put in the minds of youngsters when they are still in college, which is what happened in India in the 1970s," he noted.

K.C. Mittal and G.S. Batra of the Punjab School of Management Studies at Punjabi University called for the introduction of scientific management techniques.

Reporting on a study of small-scale industries in Punjab and Haryana, two major industrialised states of India, they concluded: "On the whole, SSI units in Punjab and Haryana hardly employ any suitable management technique in scientific management of the units."

Vishnuprasad Nagadevara of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore claimed: "The most important lacuna in the management of the relationship between small and medium enterprise suppliers and the client company is the lack of sharing of business intelligence. Each of the partners is left to themselves to obtain their own business intelligence.

"In this era of competition, where the company's effectiveness is predominantly governed by information and IT, sharing business intelligence could contribute to the operational effectiveness of both the supplier and the client company.

Source: IANS
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