Inaugural session at the MAIT SME seminar in Bangalore, Feb 11 ( INDIATECHONLINE photo)
Sorry, Schumacher: Now ‘Small is big!’

MAIT SME meet highlights big potential of industry’s small guys

Prof S. Sadagopan
, Founder-director of the Indian Institute of Information Technology -Bangalore, crystallized the consensus at the end of the half-day national seminar on Small and Medium Enterprises  , organised in Bangalore, Thursday, by the Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology(MAIT): Steering a round table discussion, he said, “Small is not just beautiful. IT is big!”
Office bearers of key Karnataka-based industry bodies used telling statistics to drive home the message that the small and medium enterprises ( to which are now added the smaller-than-small, micro industries) in fact provide employment to 22,00,000 persons in Karnataka alone compared to just 400,000 in the large and medium sector. “There are 3.5 million SMEs out there  in India– a tenth of them in Karnataka”, pointed out J Crasta, President of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI). SMEs contribute to 40 percent of industrial output in India, 35 percent of exports and 70 percent of employment, he added.

M.C. Dinesh, President of the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association pointed out that less than 12 percent of the SME’s in the state have computers and almost all of them use them just for accounting and word processing. He pointd to the huge opportunity in IT enabling the operarations of this sector – provided tools like ERP and CRM were not made too costly. The association hopes to sign up with agencies who will bring affordable cloud computing services to its members.

Sivaram Krishnan, General Manager of IBM’s Global Consulting Services division, wondered why disparate centres of the same industry – like Ludhiana and Tiruppur in hosiery should not be linked by a network of shared innovation. “What we need is not the rear view but a headlight that looks ahead”, he added.

In his inaugural address, Aravind Jannu, Managing Director of the state electronics enterprise, KEONICS, said new IT parks in places like Shimoga, Mysore and Gulbarga, would soon open up the hinterland to opportunities in cutting edge industry.
The round table included contributions from Sriram Rajan, Country Manager,SMB, IBM India, Himanshu Seth, Country Manager, Partner Lead Business & Channel Marketing, HP India, Argha Basu, Vice President Global Data Products, Bharti Airtel, Mignesh Parekh, General Manager of Cluster Pulse, Uma Reddy, President, Consotrium of Electronic Industries of Karnataka (CLIK) and Anand Parthasarathy, Editor, IndiaTechOnline. / Feb 12 2010

All the presentations will be uploaded shortly to the following MAIT site:  
Links to industry associations  cited: