A panel discussion on 'Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs' was conducted under the banner of Business Standard Smart Business in association with Butibori Manufacturers' Association (BMA) in Nagpur. The small and medium enterprises are the backbone of India’s economy. With millions of enterprises spread across the length and breadth of the country, MSME are among the biggest source of non-farm employment and accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the country’s manufacturing output and merchandise exports.
Business Standard and Butibori Manufacturers’ Association (BMA), Nagpur assembled a panel of experts to help MSME navigate the emerging challenges. The discussion was kicked-off by Hakimmudin Ali, Chairman and MD, Calderys. He broke-down a business process at a typical firm to show that contrary to the general belief financing or capital should the least concern for any entrepreneur. Rather she should focus her energy on understanding and building a market for her product and service. “If an entrepreneur correctly identified the product value chain she wants to play-in and has put-in place the right people other things such as manufacturing, supply-chain and financing can fall in place easily,” he added.
Corporate Trainer and Founder of Management Consultancy Strategic Concepts (India), Sanjay Singh exhorted entrepreneurs
to focus their attention and resources on sale side of their business. “Greatest of products and services are useless if you fail to take it the right customers.”, he said. According to him sales is a belief system just like a religion and every organisation needs one to help sell their products successfully in the market. He went a step further and advised entrepreneurs
to develop a sense of history or past in their organisation by investing in IT systems that can capture customers’ sales and equity data which can be mined in the future to come with the right sales strategy.
IT Cyber Security Expert, Mahesh Rakhija raised alarm bells in the audience by showing the ease with which computers systems and smartphones can be hacked nowadays by using publicly available tools. “This is because most of the individuals and organisations have compromised their systems by installing freeware in a bid to save cost”. He advised entrepreneurs
to avoid taking shortcuts and invest in genuine software to protect their intellectual property and integrity of their IT systems.
IT Expert and Consultant, Shashikant Choudhary laid out the contours of what he called ‘perfect technology storm’ that is about to hit Indian entrepreneurs.
“Thanks to a smart phone in every pocket and government initiative like Aadhaar Card and Digital Payment
India may soon have one the biggest IT backbone in the world. This may disrupt many businesses but can also be used to smart entrepreneurs
build new businesses to scale-up their existing ones by investing in technology and new skills”. He dismissed the audience’s fear of technology being expensive as a myth. “Most of the business software such as CRMs are now available on cloud on pay-as-you-use model not costing more few thousand rupees per user per month,” he added.