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The FISME Factor


President's Message
" India has missed out on most of the development indicators set out in the UN Millennium Development Goals. Except on eradication of poverty, which has halved from 1993-94 to 2011-12, situation remains critical about primary education and gender equality. These are not distant issues. They have serious repercussions on quality of India’s workforce, their productivity and hence on competitiveness of Indian Industry. It is in our own self-interest that we join hands in improving the social indicators. I am happy that FISME as member of the apex advisory body of India’s ambitious Skill Development Initiative (SDI), as a national skill assessing body and also as member of the sectoral skill councils is contributing its bit towards these public-private initiatives. We all need to do more. "
Dr. D. Gandhikumar, President, FISME
Vol IV, Issue 51: February 1, 2014

Knowledge and News Network (KNN)


Focus skill upgradation of existing workforce too, FISME President

India’s existing work force is in dire need of technical upgradation as over 70 percent of it has primary education or below and less than 10 percent received training, according to FISME President Dr. D. Gandhikumar. Speaking at the inaugural session of the first national meeting of Mentor Councils for specific sectors being set-up by Director General of Employment and Training (DGET), Ministry of Labour, he said while a lot of efforts were being made to upgrade the curricula for existing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for the new entrants, there was a need to also look at the skill gaps in existing workforce and create opportunities for continuous upgradation through training and self-learning. He advocated massive use of IT/ Internet and multi-media tools in vernacular languages to train and retrain the workforce employed in MSMEs.

FISME’s study mission to Pakistan

As a precursor to exchange of SME delegations between India and Pakistan, scheduled later this month, Mr. Mukesh Kalra, Joint Secretary of FISME visited Pakistan and held discussions with a range of partners such as Chambers of Commerce, Associations and SME institutions in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. The exchange of SMEs is being coordinated by FISME under the aegis of project SAARC-Trade Information Network being supported by GIZ- German Agency for International Cooperation (Nepal). The mission found the Pakistani business community extremely keen to have increased trade between the two countries and the mood very upbeat. A 18 member Indian SME delegation is ready to depart for Pakistan in February and the Pakistani delegation is expected to visit India in March.
Business Banter: Lessons from Entrepreneurs

Avoid the risk of not trying and the regret of wishing you had

- Tim Westergren, co-founder of Pandora Radio
Tim Westergren said if he could offer his younger self one piece of advice, it would be to realize from an early age that it’s far more haunting to live with the regret of having not followed your instincts--even when those instincts required a diversion from the beaten path--than to have followed your gut and failed. Luckily for Westergren, he was one of the few who did follow his passions and that pursuit led him to found a company with a market cap of $2.5 billion. "Be sure to ‘notice’ ideas when you have them. Stop. Take the time to consider them seriously. And if your gut tells you they're compelling, be fearless in their pursuit,”

[Adapted from 8 Successful Entrepreneurs give their younger selves lessons they wish they’d known then]
Writing on the Wall

How they killed our factories

The government of India, it seems, has decided that factories must not be allowed to come up or to run.

Uday Kotak said a few months back, in the course of an interview, that he was amazed that in his new office in Mumbai, not one of the furniture or fixture items were made in India. My friend Rahul Bhasin conducted a similar exercise in his office in Delhi and discovered pretty much the same thing. The carpet is from China, the furniture is from Malaysia, the light fixtures are from China, the glass partition is from all places, Jebel Ali in the Middle East and so on.
[Adapted from The Indian Express, Opinion Section]

Media Monitor

Macro Metre

Rajan may wait for inflation, fiscal deficit cues in Feb

Despite a decline in inflation, tepid growth and a weakening rupee may see the RBI keep key policy rates unchanged in the third quarter review of the monetary policy on Tuesday. “Though inflation has lowered, I do not see any change in policy as the real sector indicators like the IIP (index of industrial production) data and the services sector have seen sharper contraction,” said Rupa Rege Nitsure, Chief Economist at Bank of Baroda. Industrial output India’s industrial output hit a seven-month low of -2.1 per cent in November, primarily due to sharp decline in manufacturing sector and consumer durables.

Retail inflation for agri, rural labourers decreases in December

The retail inflation for agricultural labourers and rural labourers for December 2013 has decreased to 11.19 per cent and 11.18 per cent in December 2013 respectively. “Point to point rate of inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) and Consumer Price Index Numbers for Rural Labourers (CPI-RL) decreased from 13.43 per cent and 13.27 per cent in November, 2013 to 11.19 per cent and 11.18 per cent in December, 2013,” said an official release by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Inflation based on food index of CPI-AL and CPI-RL are 11.57 per cent and 11.23 per cent respectively during December, 2013, added the release.

Government could review gold restrictions by end-March: Chidambaram

The government will review its tight curbs on gold imports by the end of March, the finance ministry said on Monday. India used to be the world's biggest buyer of bullion until last year when a swollen current account deficit prompted the government to slap a record 10 percent duty on imports and the central bank to tie imports to exports. With the current account deficit now expected to be sharply down in the current fiscal year and the leader of the Congress party, which heads the government, reportedly asking for a reprieve, a change was increasingly on the cards. Any easing of curbs could boost imports and might make smuggling less attractive.

Economic fundamentals strong, no cause for concern: Government

Seeking to assuage investors worried over declining value of the rupee and falling stock markets, the Finance Ministry today said country's economic fundamentals are "very strong" and there is no cause for concern. "Current Account Deficit (CAD) is below USD 50 billion. Foreign exchange reserves are (at) all-time high. We have very strong fundamentals...I don't think that there is any cause of worry," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram told reporters. He was responding to a query regarding the decline in the value of the Indian rupee, which has slipped to 62.75 against the US dollar. The stock markets too plunged, with the benchmark BSE Sensex declining over 300 points in early trade.

Domestic Digest

Govt launches India Inclusive Innovation Fund

The National Innovation Council and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have jointly announced the creation of the India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF). Approved by the Union Cabinet, the fund was conceived as a unique concept that seeks to combine innovation and the dynamism of enterprise to solve the problems of citizens at the base of the economic pyramid in India. Speaking about the fund, Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the National Innovation Council (NInC) said: "The needs of the people at the base of the economic pyramid are today served by philanthropy and government grants and subsidies, which can never be either adequate or scalable. IIIF seeks to leverage the model of venture capital to transform the lives of the less privileged."

RBI invites banks, stakeholders to seminar on financing MSMEs

To explore new approaches, strategies as well as innovative ideas in providing access to MSMEs, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is organising a seminar on Financing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises here. Meant for banks and all stakeholders, the Seminar is scheduled to be held from February-17 to 18 at the College of Agricultural Banking (CAB) which is a certified training institute of RBI. While acknowledging the fact that micro and small enterprises (MSE) are important drivers of growth, jobs and social cohesion, RBI in a notification pointed out that MSEs often lack access to affordable financial services, knowledge, education and information.

Coming, additional export incentives for select industries

Exporters of garments, chemicals and pharmaceuticals can look forward to some additional sops soon. The Government is working on a small package of incentives for select sectors to help exporters tackle the difficult global market. The package, which is likely to include a bonus amount for garments and chemicals exports to Europe linked to the value of shipments, is awaiting clearance from the Finance Ministry. The Commerce Ministry has also proposed reimbursement of registration fees for pharmaceutical exporters. CAD worries It is important that exports, which have posted sluggish growth so far this year due to continuing slowdown in the Western markets, get back on the growth track to keep the widening current account deficit in check.

GEF finances Power Ministry to promote energy efficiency among SMEs

With the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy, the Ministry of Power has received financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote energy efficiency at the small and medium enterprises in India and appoint agencies for supporting the policy development and implementation of the programme. “To bridge the efficiency gaps in the various units within the same sub-sector, there is need to identify general and specific energy saving measures to facilitate the industries in their faster implementation in their respective plants. However the need for developing information and projects is much more in SME sector which usually cannot obtain or source the information needed with regard to energy efficiency,” said a notification.

DC to upgrade software to monitor sale of handloom products

The Development Commissioner (DC) for Handlooms in the Ministry of Textiles will install software solutions for daily monitoring sales of different handloom products by different agencies. The DC has already started the process for up gradation of the software system. In this regard, the Office of the DC has called for bids from agencies or firms to supply, implement and maintain the retail software system.
State Scan


Kaithal cluster prospers as cottonseed oil demand rises

The relatively less known cottonseed oil producers' cluster at Kaithal in Haryana is in an upbeat mood. Reason: Greater acceptance of cottonseed oil among households as a healthy and affordable cooking medium has given a fillip to SMEs. As a result, the cluster, which was processing around 40-50 tonnes of oil per day five years ago, is now processing 90-100 tonnes per day. Many of these producers supply to big companies, which further process the oil and convert it into edible oil. The big players blend it with other fats and oils for edible purposes.

Madhya Pradesh    

MSME-DI organises 14th Industrial Expo at Bhopal

The MSME Development Institute of Indore is organising its annual Industrial exhibition and national vendor development programme here to showcase capabilities of micro and small units and facilitate tie ups as well as technology transfer. The industrial expo scheduled to be held from February-1 to 4 is 14th in the series organised by MSME-DI, Ministry of MSME, Government of India and the Directorate of Industries, Government of MP. The three day event offers opportunities to large scale enterprises as well as micro and small enterprises to make tie-ups, technology transfer and enhancement in market of MSE by displaying their requirements and capabilities.


Nabard pegs Punjab small units' credit needs at Rs 18,187 crore

Despite the economic slowdown, there is large potential for financing the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector in Punjab, which is the backbone of the state's economy. A Focus Paper prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has estimated the state MSME sector's need for funds in 2014-15 - including term credit and working capital - at Rs 18,187 crore, a growth of nine per cent over that in 2013-14. According to Nabard, the incentive-based new Industrial Policy announced by the state government in 2013 for MSMEs would be a catalyst for growth, and further development of the transportation network will facilitate marketing of produce manufactured by such enterprises. This means opportunities for bankers.

Tamil Nadu    

Private firms to develop industrial estates in TN

The micro, small and medium enterprises sector has grabbed the opportunity and there are already proposals for four such facilities. Tamil Nadu will soon have industrial estates developed by consortiums of private companies coming up in various parts of the state. The traditional method has been for government agencies to facilitate the development of industrial parks and offer space to industry. The state government has came up with a model in which a consortium of 20 or more companies in the MSME sector can apply to set up a new industrial estate or shift from existing industrial estates which are facing space constraints, with government support.

West Bengal    

FOSMI organises state level vendor development programme

With a view to identifying emerging demands of buyers and to provide a platform for vendors to interact with buyers, a state level vendor development programme will be held here. Organised by the Federation of Small and Medium Industries (FOSMI) and the MSME Development Institute, the state level vendor development programme is scheduled to be held here on January-29. “In view of the initiatives being taken by MSME-DI, Kolkata in the matter we expect some significant PSUs such as GRSE, Ordnance Factory Dumdum, Coal India, Indian Oil, etc to participate in the programme,” said FOSMI Secretary, H Ganguly.
World Watch


Pakistan to give MFN status to India, with a condition

Pakistan will grant India the most favoured nation (MFN) status from next month with a condition that India announces lower duties on 250-300 Pakistani items, according to Dawn News. After getting an assurance for market access, MFN status will be granted to India through the issuance of a statutory regulatory order (SRO), a high-ranking official in the ministry of commerce told Dawn. The MFN status means abolishing the negative list of 1,209 items, it added. Pakistan has sought access for 250-300 of its items at lowered duties, and has handed over the list to the Indian government.


Japan to give three-year multiple entry visas to Indians

With a view to promoting people-to-people contacts, Japan has announced short-term multiple entry visas for Indians to promote educational and academia exchanges. According to a senior official in the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, Indians can now get a three-year visa with multiple entries to visit Japan. Abe yesterday participated in the Republic Day parade as a chief guest. He is the first Japanese Prime Minister to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations and marvel at India's military might showcased at the event. “There will be multiple-entry visas, which will last up to three years, for Indian ordinary passport holders,” Japan foreign ministry’s Press secretary Kuni Sato said.

South Korea    

India & South Korea to promote B2B contact, cooperation in urban transport

India and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote business to business contact, while India is also keen to explore possibilities of cooperation in urban transport. After the signing of tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between EEPC India (formerly known as Engineering Export Promotion Council), CII (Confederation of India Industry) and Kotra (Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) here yesterday, Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Deepa Dasmunshi highlighted the importance of further stepping up India’s bilateral engagement with Korea which is amongst the most dynamic Asian economies.


Exim Bank to provide USD 19.50 million credit to Vietnam

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has entered into an agreement with the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, for providing a Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 19.50 million to finance eligible goods, machinery, equipment, works and services including consultancy services from India for the purpose of financing two projects in Vietnam, said RBI. “Exim Bank has entered into an Agreement dated July 11, 2013 with the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, for making available to the latter, a LOC of USD 19.50 million (USD Nineteen Million Five Hundred Thousand) for financing eligible goods, machinery, equipment, works and services including consultancy services from India for the purpose of financing two projects in Vietnam,” the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a notification.
Upcoming Events

FISME’s Trade Delegation to Pakistan

Date: 09th February to 14th February 2014
Venue: Lahore & Karachi
See Details

FISME’s China office opens in Shanghai

FISME’s China office has become operational in Shanghai.
Other Events

Igmatex Ahmedabad

Date: 31st Jan – 02nd Feb 2014
Venue: Ahmedabad Education Society Grounds, Ahmedabad
See Details

India Vision 2020 Mega Expo

Date: 03rd – 07th Feb 2014
Venue: University of Jammu, Jammu
See Details

Internet Retail Expo

Date: 05th – 07th Feb 2014
Venue: Epicentre, Gurgaon
See Details

World Tea & Coffee Expo

Date: 06th – 08th Feb 2014
Venue: Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre , Mumbai
See Details
Your Views

Holding the interest rates at the current level by RBI will be beneficial for the economy

According to the FISME Factor, 73 per cent of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), think that holding the interest rates at the current level by RBI will be good for the economy.
Knowledge Store

HR Heuristics

Take the pain out of appraisals

#Focusing on contributions of the employee and how they can become even better at their jobs, instead of numbers and ratings, can make appraisal meetings more meaningful for all concerned. It is performance appraisal and review time for most companies. Employees will be busy recounting their contributions and managers analysing them and offering feedback or discounting them. Despite tonnes of money spent on training and coaching managers and employees alike, performance appraisal season witnesses a lot of anxiety and tension.

Finance Fundamentals

Hedging interest rate risk becomes easier

The modified interest rate futures set for launch by the National Stock Exchange and the MCX-SX will provide Indian investors an effective means to hedge the fixed income portion of their portfolio. It will also be useful for cutting down the losses incurred by way of higher interest outgo on loans or lesser interest income on fixed income assets due to fluctuations in policy rates.

Marketing Mantras

Used-car market rides the technology wave

Though the segment is relatively immune to downturn, the slow pace at which the market adapts to internet use is a challenge to Cartrade.com Before approaching a dealer, every second car buyer in India researches online. "Potential car buyers find the internet a more useful research tool than television or the print media, as it is fast and offers comparative tools and easy access to holistic information," says a Mumbai-based analyst.

Policy Polemic

Debt and EMIs: Major hurdle for thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs in India

In the Mahabharata, Arjuna's son Abhimanyu knows how to enter the Chakravyuha—a multi-tier arrangement of troops employed by the opposing Kaurava army— but not how to exit it, leading to his death. The starting up ambitions of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs in India meet a similar fate after being trapped inside the deadly formation of debt and EMIs. For these young men and women, the sleek automobile that was an absolute must-have or the cosy apartment with a fantastic view suddenly do not seem that appealing anymore—the loans taken to buy these "assets" are now the biggest obstacles for executing their entrepreneurial plans.

SME Special

Flatpebble.com: an idea that clicked

How two young men have changed the way photographers are hired — for weddings, fashion events or product launches They had come to Microsoft, Hyderabad, from different paths. The job at the IT giant took them to different places and they finally ended up, together, in Kuala Lumpur. In an alien land, Venkatesh Seshadri or Venky and Pranav Mehta bonded and shared thoughts and ideas. One such session was epiphanic for the duo. They stumbled on an idea they were confident would click big, and turn them into entrepreneurs. They had zoomed in on the creative and growing field of photography.

Success Story

Shoe salesman becomes country's favourite restaurateur

"When you have conviction in a product, when it keeps you up at night and you dream about it, you should go ahead and do it. Never let even good advice interfere with your life" - Riyaaz Amlani Who would have imagined that a 500-sq-ft coffee shop at Churchgate in Mumbai, furnished with rented furniture and limited resources in 2001, would clock sales of Rs 6 lakh a month and go on to become one of India's most respected brands? Since then, 39-year-old Riyaaz Amlani has had the country eating out of his hands, with his 33-odd restaurants and cafés serving over 12,000 people a day.


The Central Statistical Office (CSO) released the Provisional indices for the month of December 2013 and also final indices for November 2013.

Quotable Quotes

"“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” "
— Seth Godin, Squidoo founder
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Free Publications

Identification & Valuation of IPRs in MSMEs  

Identification & Valuation of IPRs in MSMEs
Identification & Valuation of IPRs in MSMEs - Selected Research Papers.
Country Chronicles
FISME regularly receives monthly reports on the economies of various countries from their missions in India. These reports provide information on key economic parameters, trade related information and all news relevant for importers and exporters. In this edition you can take a look at reports on:
Starting a New Venture
Coming August, K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research located in Vidyavihar, Mumbai is launching a certificate programme on Creating New Ventures.
Reader Reactions

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New Members

3 New Members Join FISME

During the period from 15th January 2014 to 31st January 2014 a total of 3 new MSMEs became member of FISME
IPR Exchange


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