The significance of the MSME sector is evident from the government’s numerous policy initiatives to consolidate the sector domestically and in exports. Maharashtra is home to over 47.78 lakh MSMEs in the country out of which 47.60 lakh are micro enterprises. The Government of Maharashtra is also working towards providing assistance to the sector through various schemes that would affect the livelihood of 90.77 lakh people operating in the sector, helping develop the financial and managerial capabilities of the MSME entrepreneurs and creating awareness on various initiatives for local businesses in the state.
The Indian e-commerce market has transformed the way businesses are carried out in India, especially in the last 20 months, hand holding small businesses to leverage online platforms to access wider audiences, scale-up production, and accelerate digital transformation. The festive season, and the sales that come with it, have played an important role in increasing the output of businesses, influencing the level of economic growth, employment, and the balance of payments. During the 2021 festival season, the average spending saw an increase of 52%, while Maharashtra alone accounted for 24.5% of this. Given that Indians have a tendency to make large purchases during festivals, with the rise of ecommerce we only see this trend getting stronger in the coming years.
The India SME Forum (ISF) is organizing a series of briefing sessions across key markets to educate small sellers on benefits of e-commerce in enabling their recovery in a post-pandemic world, further accelerated with the onset of the festive season. Speaking on this, Mr. Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum, said, “For a state like Maharashtra, having the fourth-highest concentration of small businesses in the country and contributing to 8 percent of India’s 6.3 crore MSME base, it is even more vital to encourage ease of doing business and foster a business-friendly environment by leveraging the opportunities offered by online platforms. When MSMEs bring their brands online, their sales only multiply, especially during the festive season. This is not only in India but globally as after COVID the consumer perception has changed and they have started to prefer buying online.”
Mr. Dekade, Joint Director – Industries, Maharashtra, “The state of Maharashtra has introduced the CM Employment Generation Program to provide MSMEs and industries with several opportunities to avail grants and subsidies. Women are also being given incentives by the Government to support their growing businesses and endeavours.”
Various sellers who were a part of the panel also spoke on this. Mr. Aabha Pimprikar, Subhojyam, highlighted how the festive season brought with it a 30-40 percent hike in businesses that is expected to continue growing in the coming years. Dr. Mrinal Saraf, Shalaka Bioscience, also stressed that there is a need to create more awareness around online retail to help businesses grow and prosper. Ms. Bharti Chandra said SMEs should ensure their product quality which will bring word of mouth, they also need to customize their products to fit corporate as well as individual consumers taste
Mrunalini Devraj, SIO MAITRI, was of the opinion, “The MAITRI portal falls under the directorate of industries and offers over 104 services including access to Public Works Department(PWD), grievance redressal and all departments work in harmony to resolve discrepancies faced by industries and small businesses.”
Consumer goods market grew 21% in October from year ago supported by higher sales of packaged foods, cosmetics and various other categories. There is a positive sentiment right now due to reasons like uptake in vaccinations, the pent-up demand, greater mobility to socialise and fundamentally, in our country, a lot of people want to just celebrate. It has also been seen that this year, the average spends during the festive season in Maharashtra was driven through adoption of Digital payments. Strong sales on retail and e-commerce channel was at the peak during this festive season. It has been also seen that consumers are getting more comfortable with shopping for large tickets items online in the state of Maharashtra.