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Need to help SMEs to create more jobs, increase exports: Maira

Member, Planning Commission, Arun Maira Wednesday said that there is need to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create more jobs and help increase the country's exports.

"The manufacturing sector of our country has a long way to go. The sector needs to create more jobs and help increase the country's exports. Small industries will play a key role in this. We have to help these small industries grow and recognize that they are the backbone of our economy," said Maira in his address at the Industry-IT Summit 2014, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with PwC as the knowledge partner, held in New Delhi.

"We have to help small industries help access technologies and build effective clusters by working cooperatively. The Indian IT industry needs to help enable these SMEs. Now the State, the industries and IT sectors need to work together," said Maira.

He added that, SMEs are the backbone of this country and the time has come to put capability in people to change the process so as to create healthy eco-system of small entrepreneurs.

'Manufacturing SMEs must become rapid learning enterprise and should become competitive through better process architecture', he stressed.

Arun Maira also added "Human Assets are the only assets that appreciates in manufacturing industry, rest all depreciates".

The sentiment that rang through the session was clearly indicative of the fact that while these sectors did have low IT adoption levels and were ridden with issues, the bigger picture did reveal opportunities for growth and development through process and governance restructuring and the critical role IT had to play in bringing about this transformation.

Deep Kapuria, Chairman, CII National MSME Council and Chairman, Hi-Tech Group, during his address said, "IT is a catalyst to navigate through challenging and volatile environment."

He added, earlier in India growth was taken for granted, but now companies struggle for it. He stressed India should catalyze growth through technology and leverage entrepreneur-sprit for better growth.

During the inaugural session S D Shibulal, MD and CEO, Infosys, said, "IT is a great enabler for employment generation. Every sector needs to adopt technology as it can help build competitive advantage, close the development gaps in the country and thereby create more employment opportunities."

He added it is encouraging to see the great work of spreading awareness on the challenges Indian industries are facing today, and to be able to come together on a platform such as this, to discuss how to resolve those with the help of IT.

C N Raghupathi, Chairman, CII Sub-Committee on 'IT for Domestic Industry' and Head - India Business and VP, Infosys Ltd said, "This discussion on unlocking the transformational value of technology to revive India's industries comes at a time when India's GDP is more service oriented and less manufacturing oriented."

"There is a need to jumpstart the manufacturing sector and enable infrastructure as well since both are inter-dependent," he added.