CII meet focuses on enhancing SME competitiveness

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Scalability of SME sector was one of the key action areas presented at CII’s 4th National Cluster Summit 2011, where enhancing internal competitiveness of small and medium scale industries through manufacturing excellence, capacity building and energy management were discussed across sectors.

Recognising that SMEs hold the key to the engine of growth, participants at the two-day summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), pointed out that the SME sector created more jobs and more self-employment. Cluster formation was highlighted by Mr Vijay Thadani, Chairman, CII Northern Region, who said that clusters help in overcoming the challenges of obsolescence, skill levels, quality and credibility.

Saying that there was need to create visionary SMEs in India Mr Gautam Thapar, Chairman, CII-Avantha Centre for Competitiveness for SMEs, spoke about how the Centre was focused on improving the return on investment so as to grow business. “The challenge is to enable substantial savings in the manufacturing process”.

Ms Tatiana Krylova, Head, Enterprise Branch, Division of Investments & Enterrpises, UNCTAD, spoke about the entrepreneur development and business linkages programme being implemented in various countries across the world with considerable benefit. She hoped that India would soon become a new destination of Empretec, their entrepreneur development training programme.

Under the aegis of the CII-Avantha Centre, over 203 clusters have been formed over the years touching as many as 2,192 companies. Last year alone saw the formation of 10,753 Kaizens with the aim of improving manufacturing excellence on the shop floor.

As Mr Yogesh Munjal, Chairman, CII Clusters for Competitiveness, said “manufacturing excellence has become the mandate to survive in a competitive world and grow.” He said the MSMEs must stay focused on ongoing improvement of not only technology but also skills.

Currently, SMEs contribute 45% o manufacturing GDP, and 9% of overall GDP and employ 59 million people in the country. The event also saw presentation of case studies in the areas of manufacturing excellence, cost competitiveness, total employee involvement and energy efficiency. The Cluster Championship Awards for the best projects will be given at the valedictory session on 1 October, 2011.

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