North-East states are home to over 74,000 MSMEs, there is a need to incentivize these

Guwahati, Dec 18: MSMEs have traditionally formed the backbone of the Indian economy, contributing to about 30 percent of India’s GDP. Accelerated by the pandemic, it has become more important now than ever to hand-hold small businesses to consolidate offline sales and simultaneously harness online platforms to be able to access wider audiences, scale-up production, and accelerate digital transformation.

The North-East states are home to over 74,000 MSMEs from across Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. There is a need to incentivize these MSMEs to digitize and build digital infrastructure, enabling a more inclusive growth.

The Government’s vision to position India as a favored investment destination, strengthening local business and manufacturing, while driving exports, is a powerful one and the e-commerce sector is a strong potential ally in achieving this. E-commerce in India plays a vital role in generating jobs and employment across industries, accounting for $850 billion in revenues, employing 50 million people, and connecting 30 million SMB to consumers.

Traditionally, the economy of the North-East states has been limited to neighbouring areas. E-commerce can provide a global platform to the sellers in the region, widening the customer bases across India and around the world, connecting remote areas and enabling sellers to sell locally made products intrinsic to the North-East heritage.

The innovations in logistics and delivery services brought about by the e-commerce sector can enable MSMEs in the region to build successful enterprises by leveraging the existing supply chain, logistics infrastructure, and exports market.

E-commerce can also help businesses digitize quickly, lowering the entry barrier for MSMEs in global markets, and taking away a lot of compliance challenges for selling online including supply chain complexities, market entry investments, and cross-border payments.

India SME Forum (ISF) organized a media briefing on ‘Enabling MSMEs from the North-Eastern States of India in the National Business Mainstream’. Speaking at the briefing, Mr. Himanga Dip Das, Additional Director, Industries and Commerce, Govt. of Assam, said, “There are about 66,000 MSME units in Assam for which the government has introduced incentive schemes and packages to attract entrepreneurs and help scale their businesses in Assam.”

Mr. TaliLongchar, Joint Director, Govt. of Nagaland, also stated, “There is a need to provide exposure and extend support to entrepreneurs in Nagaland through training programs and institutes to help remove municipal barriers and accelerate production and growth of businesses.” GoliAngu, Deputy Director, Industries, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, also highlighted the incentives and opportunities provided through various Government policies to promote MSMEs in the state.

Mr. Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum, was of the opinion, “Investment in e-commerce creates large scale employment and livelihood opportunities, enables B2C exports, and integrates MSMEs in national and global supply chains.

Given the impact of MSMEs on India’s economy, it is imperative that we encourage and promote entrepreneurship among the youth in the region and allow them play an integral role in achieving India’s $5 trillion economy vision.”

Shri Mitrabhanu Choudhary, Director, Ernst and Young highlighted,“Assam has signed MoUs with digital marketplaces such as Amazon, to promote its one agro, one product initiative  to sell items native to the state across global markets.” Various sellers including Ms. Rita Tage, Founder, Nara Aaba, Dr. ShwetaLanke Kane, Director, Confederation of Resource Development for Sustainability – North East India.

Mr. Dharneet Sharma, Owner, Marketing Plus, highlighted the need to have government initiatives and policies that encourage the growth of e-commerce in the Indian economy, enabling them to expand sales. MrDharneet Sharma said,“E-commerce has been the biggest enabler in the distribution of products and expanding reach to customers all over the country. Logistic partners like Amazon have helped bridge the connectivity gap with their prime delivery service.”


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