New foundation formed to enhance competitiveness of SMEs in export market

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By Nitasha Chawla

With a vision to enhance an organisation’s competence to serve high value markets on a sustainable basis, the Foundation for Business Competitiveness (FBC) was launched on November 4, 2011 in Delhi. The Foundation has been set up by 12 consultants who have the experience of working in different fields, ranging from auto components, dies and moulds, castings and forgings to agriculture and food processing.

The foundation’s objective

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The sole objective of this Foundation is to build capacity and handhold small, medium and large enterprises while they try to gain competitive advantage in exports as well as in domestic markets. All 12 consultants are being exhaustively trained by the Centre for the Promotion of Exports from Developing Countries (CBI) under a joint initiative with various stakeholders like the Ministry of Commerce, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

The consultants will study an FBC client organisation’s readiness to enter the export market through management commitment audits, export audits and trade services audits. The result of these audits will help the clients to work on their weak points and build strategies to compete in the export market.

Vinod Sharma, managing director, Deki Electronics Ltd, will lead FBC as its president. He has been trained by CBI as an exporter and as a trainer. As a CBI expert, he now helps companies and business support organisations (BSOs) in Asia and Africa towards their goal of developing sustainable exports.

“FBC’s motto is to inspire by knowledge, commit with care and deliver with integrity. Creating export market entry strategies is our flagship service, which will enable an SME to conceive, envision, design and develop a robust market entry strategy for a select market of high potential,” said Rajit Pal Singh, a FBC consultant.

The support given

The members of the foundation feel that lack of understanding of export markets is one of the biggest reasons for export non-competitiveness amongst Indian SMEs. Therefore, the foundation has proposed an internal audit of management commitment, resources, and finance for. FBC has a three-dimensional approach of supporting its clients and improving their competitiveness through diagnostics, training and advisory services. It also plans to conduct some sector-based and cluster analysis, apart from regular international market research to deliver world-class market intelligence products to its registered clients.

Welcoming the initiative on behalf of all the organisations present at the launch, Sanjiv Narain, managing director, SGS Teknis Manufacturing Pvt Ltd, said, “The CBI Netherlands has been actively supporting the SME export efforts from this country over the last decade. The organisation has now decided to move out and there is going to be a vacuum. With FBC stepping into this space, I think this is going to be a great service for SMEs to maintain continuity. Moreover, with the government’s decision to increase the contribution of manufacturing to India’s GDP to 25 per cent in the new manufacturing policy, SMEs will have an important role to play. Therefore, the role of organisations like FBC would be critical.”

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