Aparna S in conversation with Dr Tamal Sarkar, Director, MSME Foundation for SMBIT.INBANGALORE, INDIA: Dr Tamal Sarkar is a very senior member of the MSME foundation and brings vast experience to his profile as Director. It is inspiring to read about his initiatives and achievements. He manages and heads various departments under MSME like Training, Research, Energy, Business Responsibility, Productivity and Competitiveness and Infrastructure. Dr Tamal is a Doctorate in Economics specializing in Cluster Development and has formerly worked with FICCI and UNIDO before he headed the MSME organization. He has over decades of working experience and specialization in cluster development.
The vision, goal and objective of MSME is to help the micro enterprises. Dr Tamal says there are nearly 30 million MSMEs in India and 70- 80% of them are clusters. In this 8 million is comprised by manufacturing while 98% are nearly micro enterprises. While the policies do exist to help the MSMEs grow, he believes that the organizations are not yet fully ready to receive the benefits and advantages. There is a huge gap in the offering of services and the services being used and implemented, he says with experience.
Also read: Profile of MSME Foundation
MSME creates state wise groups to empower MSMEs in India. The group has grown slowly starting with a turnover of a few lacs to a few crores now. The staff size has also grown from 1 to 40 people now. MSME work with clusters to create enough marketable products, works with Institutions across India and the government to sustain growth., Creating jobs can help creating business responsibility and with the help of research groups, MSME can study various clusters, aspects of technology and manpower and more.
MSME works with over 200 clusters across the country and has indepth knowledge and experience regarding the working, functionality, requirements and challenges of the clusters. MSME undertakes several projects aimed for the growth of the MSME sectors. This may include projects where they liaison between the MSMEs and financial institutions to create better financing and business opportunities. In his experience, the MSMEs are vulnerable and resistant to the new services and undertakings.
Also read: Interview with DGM, MSME Foundation
According to the five-year program of the ministry, there is a plan to aid, support and develop at least 2500 clusters. So the focus of MSME is to develop cluster related infrastructure like a lab processing center and so on. The other focus is to strengthen local organizations to empower MSMEs, make the local organizations MSME partners so that they can deploy projects in a collaborative manner.
The foundation is now trying to create what is called as a collective reporting mechanism wherein the respective MSMEs can have their own report. There is a focus to start training and developing professionals since there is a huge requirement of experts and professionals. MSME is also focusing on research and development. According to Dr. Tamal, research is very important and can provide key insights for the future activities and planning. MSME is working with various financial institutions and state governments like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Punjab and Rajasthan.
There are many such projects being taken up by MSME and they are aimed at the growth of clusters and overall of the MSME economy. Many steps are being taken in a comprehensive manner towards sustainable development.