In a first-of-its-kind initiative Firstbiz, the business portal that is part of Firstpost, one of India’s largest news and views portals, has released an insightful small and medium enterprises (SME) survey in the run-up to the Union Budget 2014-15. Firstpost/Firstbiz are part of Network18, the same media group that owns CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, CNBC Awaaz and several regional news channels in Hindi and other languages.
This survey was conducted in association with Greyhound Knowledge Group, a corporate group delivering Business, Technology and Talent research and strategy services across Emerging Markets.
The Indian SME Survey: Analysing Indian SME Perceptions Around Union Budget 2014-15 was commissioned to closely analyse the key challenges faced by SMEs, which is India’s most important sector from the perspective of employment and growth. This is line with Firstbiz’s commitment to provide insightful content for every sector and especially focus on the sectors that really matter to India. The Survey was conducted across 9 Indian cities, carefully selected to represent a balanced mix of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and saw more than 540 SME respondents providing detailed answers.
SMEs are important to India because India currently has more than 48 million SMEs who contribute more than 45% of India’s industrial output, 40% of total exports and create 1.3 million jobs every year. Yet, SMEs continue to struggle on multiple accounts. While some are challenged by credit and finance issues, others are struggling to cope with stringent regulatory environments. This report dwells deeper into these challenges and also highlights what these SMEs expect from the upcoming Union Budget, set to be released on July 10.
Further explaining the rationale behind conducting the survey, R Jagannathan, Editor-in-chief, Firstpost & Firstbiz said, “India’s new central government, headed by Narendra Modi, has promised to make business a less traumatic process for entrepreneurs. We hope the results of this survey, when conveyed to the topmost political leaders, will help improve the business climate and enthuse more entrepreneurs to create new businesses and jobs.”
Stressing the point that SMEs are critical for innovation and growth in India, Sanchit Vir Gogia, Founder & CEO, Greyhound Knowledge Group said, “Indian SMEs today are the undisputed powerhouse of the economy. Not only are they generating millions of employment opportunities but are significantly contributing to our country’s industrial output. Greyhound Knowledge Group believes that there is need to bridge the challenge and expectation gap that exists today. Hence our decision to partner with Firstbiz and reach out to SMEs across India to gather sentiments from the ground and map them around the upcoming Union Budget 2014-15.”
Some of the key SME challenges highlighted by The Indian SME Survey: Analysing Indian SME Perceptions Around Union Budget 2014-15 include:
- Dearth of easy finance and credit instruments
- Limiting regulatory polices
- Unavailability of modern, affordable technology
- Lack of basic infrastructure facilities
- Absence of exclusive marketing platforms and distribution networks
- Inflexible labour laws and availability of affordable skilled labour
The Survey report analyses each of these challenges in detail and also throws up many other interesting insights, besides explaining how the Union Budget 2014-15 could provide solutions.
The findings of the survey have been compiled in a comprehensive report and it is available as a free download at http://firstbiz.firstpost.com/sme-report/