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Industry Specific Initiatives

AIMA In Association With CMA Organized A SME Workshop In Coimbatore

All India Management Association (AIMA) in association with Coimbatore Management Asociation organized a one day hands-on workshop on Management Skills to Source financing and Management of Technology by SMEs on April 19th 2007 at Hotel Residency, Coimbatore. This was the first in the series of twelve workshops, AIMA is organizing throughout the country in association with Local Management Associations, banks, credit rating agencies and other stakeholders of SMEs.

The Workshop was Inaugurated by Mr K Kamalakanan, Zonal General Manager, NSIC, Chennai. Dr R Nandgopal, Vice President, Coimbatore Management Association delivered the Welcome Address. Dr. JS Juneja, Chairman, SME Committee, AIMA made the Theme Presentation.

The First Session- How to access finance for success, approach & methodology was Chaired by Mr P V Chandrasekaran, AGM, Corporation Bank. During the session, Mr Virendra Goyal, Regional Manager- South, SME Rating Agency( SMERA) shared his views on ‘Credit performace Rating of SMEs’. Mr S Chandrasekar, Chief Manager, Canara Bank presented ‘ other Innovative Financial Sources’ to the participants. A Case Study was presented by Mr P R Rangaswami, MD, Consolidated Cybernetics Co. Pvt. Ltd.

The Second Session focused on Technology Management. The first speaker of this technical session was Mr V Venkateshwaran, General Manager, Ammarun Foundries, Coimbatore. Mr Venkateshwaran spoke on Technology up-gradation- An Approach for Survival & Growth. Mr S Panikkassery, Dy Director, SISI, Coimbatore highlighted important

technologies being used in Coimbatore. Mr N Visvanathan, MD, Ammarun Foundries, Coimbatore shared a Success Story- through Technology Management. Both the sessions -Sourcing Finance and Technology Management were followed by rounds of Question and Answer.

Session three was the Panel Discussion. During the Panel Discussion all the experts were available for one to one discussion with the participants. The sessions were highly interactive. The Workshop was co-sponsored by NSIC and Corporation Bank. SME Rating Agency was the ‘Official Credit Rating Partner’.

Dr J S Juneja presented the Road map for Technology up-gradation and Sourcing Finance. Dr R Nandgopal, Vice President, CMA proposed a Vote of Thanks. The workshop was well attended.

AIMA in association with KMA organized a SME workshop in Cochin

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been contributing very significantly to India’s Economic Development, Industrial Production, Employment creation, and provide seedbed for enterprise development. Keeping the enhancement of SME competitiveness in view, AIMA in association with KMA organized a One-Day workshop on Management Skills to Source financing and Management of Technology by SMEs on April 21st 2007 at Hotel Avenue Center, Panampilly Nagar, Cochin. This was the second of twelve such programs AIMA is organizing throughout the country in association with its Local Management Associations.

Mr. Sunil Zachariah, President, KMA, welcomed the gathering in the inaugural session. The veteran in SME segment with decades of rich experience, Dr. JS Juneja, Chairman, SME Committee, AIMA, was the program Director. Dr Juneja in his theme presentation highlighted the problems faced by SMEs and how the Govt is gearing up to solve these, relating mainly to souring the finance and upgrading technology. Mr. CJ Mathew, Development Commissioner, Cochin Special Economic Zone was the Chief Guest. He mentioned that the role of SMEs to the contribution of economic growth has to be commended but they have been sidelined, the SMEs are most suited to Kerala, and CSEZ is a facility, where the entrepreneurs can access all the enabling factors for running an SME without hassles.

Mr. TT Thomas, Former CMD, FACT Ltd cited Kerala has about 1.9 lakh small scale industries, with an investment of Rs 5900 crores, employing over 7 lakh people and is the largest employment generating sector. But they lack organizational strength to proactively influence policy makers, and he urged SMEs in Kerala to have a strong organization , with capability to give technical support to the members, and influence government policy. A major challenge facing SMEs is marketing and brand building, which is not about logo and expensive advertising campaigns, but the way business is done; from the way the telephone is attended to. He said the GOI is actively supporting SMEs by way of simplifying accounting standards in the proposed new company law , asking banks to offer new products to hedge against exchange rate fluctuations etc and SMEs should grab this opportunity.

The first session on Management of Finance was chaired by Mr. George John, Chief Financial Manager, Federal Bank Ltd. Mr. Kamalakannan, Zonal General Manager, NSIC, Chennai outlined various schemes at the disposal of NSIC for assisting upcoming and startup entrepreneurs, which included collective tender participation, management of funds available as per customer needs etc. Mrs. Seethalakshmi, Asst General Manager, State Bank of India, was vocal about financial institution’s perspective towards SMEs in general. Many talented people are scared to go on their own due to risk of uncertainty, and lack of money. These can be overcome very easily with the right guidance. Many banks including SBI have dedicated loan-processing cells exclusively for SME segment, and not all loans are linked to security especially for new ventures where there is no track record. Mr. Arun Kumar, Business Dev. Manager for Kerala, Dun & Bradstreet, allayed fears and psychological barriers to credit rating mechanism and narrated how a good credit rating would boost up SMEs chances of obtaining funds and other requirements. Mr George John, summed up the session handling queries, from experienced participants, like SMEs being allowed to tap ECB and it was gratifying to note that RBI has announced its policy where SMEs are allowed to access derivatives market and cover forward contracts.

The next session on Management of Technologies by SMEs was chaired by Mr. S. Gopakumar, Head, Manufacturing, Apollo Tyres, who in his opening remarks made references to opportunities available for tapping and upgrading technology especially related to manufacturing sector in Kerala. Mr. PR Raman, Principal Consultant, KITCO, narrated success stories of many entrepreneurs assisted by KITCO in their startup troubleshooting phase. Mr. Karunakaran, Asst GM,SIDBI, offered support to upcoming entrepreneurs to set up shop with host of schemes and facilities that SIDBI is giving as a lead role player in SME segment.

The valedictory session was chaired by Mr. P Ravindranath, Vice President, KMA who welcomed the gathering and introduced the Chief Guest, Mr. Navas Meeran, Vice Chairman, Eastern Group of Companies. Mr, Navas narrated how under the guidance of his father Mr.M.E.Meeran, he developed the brand “Eastern” as “a force to reckon with” in the business scene of Kerala. He shared his experience in the business, and discussed about how they diversified into new areas, and implemented new management systems in the company to improve efficiency and productivity.

Dr.Juneja thanked Mr.Meeran for sharing the real life experience, and summed up the proceedings of the workshop. There was also a lively interactive session with Mr.Meeran and Dr.Juneja. Mr. KN Shastry, Hon. Secretary, KMA, proposing vote of thanks. .

More than 50 entrepreneurs attended the program from Kasargod to Trivandrum. This program was held in association with NSIC as co-sponsors, and supported by SIDBI and Dun & Bradstreet.