At a time when economic growth in India has suffered on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been hit the hardest. Lack of size, availability of resources, inadequate access to finance, coupled with high finance costs and complex labour laws have prevented India’s 63 million MSMEs from realising their full potential.

However, it is now widely recognised by all stakeholders – including policymakers and industry – that the welfare of MSMEs needs to be given priority. MSMEs will play a crucial role in helping India revive its economy and create the multitude of jobs needed to leverage the country’s demographic dividend.

Employing more than 100 million people, the MSME sector is the second largest employment provider in the country after agriculture. It serves as the backbone for the ‘Make in India’ initiative and accounts for 45 per cent of India’s exports. With an intent to revive economic activity and help businesses grappling with uncertainties arising out of the pandemic, it is the right time to reimagine the MSME ecosystem.

It is in this context, that CNBC-TV18 in association with Bandhan Bank has launched ‘Sashakt India – Powering Indian MSMEs’ – a thought leadership forum that aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities before the MSME sector - a key driver of the Indian economy.