2nd Series of Conferences on Financing SMEs - Towards Global Competitiveness 2012
Aug 02 2012, 11:26 | By SME Mentor
As part of Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Pre-Conferences, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI), Gujarat State Council and Gujarat Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in partnership with GIDC and iNDEXTb organized the 2nd Series of Conferences on Financing SMEs - Towards Global Competitiveness 2012 on 27 July, 2012, in Ahmedabad. The objective of the Conference was to address the challenges and opportunities pertaining to SME sector, with aid of experts and policy makers from the State Government, Banking and Financial domain. The participants also availed with the benefit of financial products & services of various banks/FIs/VCs exclusively for SMEs in the exhibition area of the conference.
Mr. Mahendra Patel, Executive Committee Member FICCI & President, GCCI and, in his welcome address pushed for the revival of state-run funding institutions like Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation (GIIC) and Gujarat State Finance Corporation (GSFC) that could lend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Mr. B B Swain, IAS, VC & MD, GIDC also invited delegates to be part of Vibrant Gujarat 2013. He also informed delegates that the 6th Summit of Vibrant Gujarat is slated to take place from 11th - 13th January 2013, at Mahatma Mandir in the state capital, Gandhinagar. Vibrant Gujarat 2013 will be an unrivalled platform for exploring business opportunities, sharing best practices and interacting with the people to get mutually beneficial partnerships. During the inaugural address of the Conference, Mr. Saurabh Patel, Hon'ble Minister of State for Industry and Finance, said the State Government would soon come out with a Manufacturing & Textile Policy to boost the SME sector in the State. He suggested the SMEs to represent themselves to the standing committee of Goods & Service Tax (GST) and fight against the new tax regime for survival. "Since 2002, the number of SMEs in the State has increased from 2.67 lakh to almost double. Right now, the credit-deposit ratio in Gujarat is 70% which should be increased to 100%. Inaugural session was ended by vote of thanks from Dr. Chandan Chatterjee, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED).
Entire Conference was scheduled in three sessions. The first session was chaired by Mr. R.J. Shah, CEO, Dahej SEZ and he also informed delegates about incentives under SEZ for SMEs. Addressing the first session of conference on 'Government Initiatives for SMEs/Financial Services' Dr. Chandan Chatterjee, GM, iNDEXTb, gave a brief idea of how changing business environment is making the conventional businesses move in the direction of 'Thought diversification'. Dr. Chatterjee also discussed how the State Government is working on its 'Industrial Policy' over the years and said that the 'Vibrant Gujarat' has strategized to promote Gujarat as the 'most preferred Investment Destination' and is aiming to make it a 'Global Business Hub'. Focusing on the 'Infrastructure Initiatives in the State', Ms. Swati Buch, GM, Gujarat Industrial Development Board (GIDB) emphasized the need of adopting PPP- Public Private Partnership model for developing world class infrastructure projects. Adding to that she said that Gujarat is the first state to come up with the Infrastructure Projects developed through PPP mode. Apart from that she explained the functioning and initiatives taken by State Government through the implementation of the Gujarat Industrial Development (GID) Act.
Mr. Jaimin Vasa, Chairperson, GCCI MSME Committee chaired the second session on 'Financing options for SMEs'. Emphasizing the importance of 'SME Financing' for bankers, Mr. Vasa explained that there is huge contribution of SMEs in the economic growth of the country and said that 45-50% SMEs in Gujarat do not have access to formal sources of finance. In this session, Mr. Vinod Dadlani, GM, The Kalupur Comm. Co-Op. Bank Ltd., talked about financing options available to SMEs through co-operative sector. Ms Varsha Mondkar, DGM & Business Head (SME), State Bank of India (SBI) deliberated upon issues and challenges of SMEs of Gujarat and how public sector banks can help to bridge the financial gap exist between SMEs and Banks. Last speaker of the session Mr. Sanjay Gupta, DGM, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) focused upon the sustainable development of SME sector and emphasized on clean Energy System implementation at SMEs and such other niche requirement areas of SMEs.
The last session of the conference was on the 'Alternate Financing Options', where the speakers deliberated upon the 'Alternative options of funding SMEs'. The session was chaired by Mr. Mihir Joshi, MD, GVFL, who Deliberated upon Venture Financing. He explained how 'Venture Capital' is different from 'Private Equity' and what steps should the business take to avail funds from a Venture Capitalist. Financing business through 'Private Equity' and what are the key considerations need to be taken care was discussed by Mr. Ashwani Khare, Partner, KPMG. He talked about the general myths prevailing around PE and explained the process of PE funding. 'Due diligence gap' is one of the major reasons for the SMEs inability to avail funds from formal sources of finance. Hence, the importance of 'Credit Rating' for better Credibility was discussed by Mr. Ranjan Sharma, Sr. Manager, CARE Ratings. Mr. Rahul Bhutiani, GM, Brand Capital, shared insights on the importance of 'Brand building' for the SMEs and explained how Brand Capital helps the business through 'Brand creation funding', to undertake consistent and well planned 'Brand building exercise' for a long period. 'Hedging' is one of the least exploited areas of funding for SMEs, which lays emphasis on sustaining in business through 'Saving finance'. This area was presented by Mr. Jagdeep Grewal, VP-Commodities, Kunvarji Group.
The Conference was attended by more than 300 senior level representatives from Small and Medium Enterprises Start up ventures, Innovators, Banks, Financial Service providers, consultants, tax and legal experts of Gujarat. With a view to provide the advantage of this value driven Programme to SMEs located in other parts of the state, a series of such Programmes is planned to be organized by FICCI Gujarat state council in association with regional chambers at Surat, Rajkot , Gandhidham and vadodara in the month of August and September. The conference is widely covered in media publications as well.
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