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The Indian Achievers’ Forum (IAF) organized the 48th India-International Business Summit 2019 at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on June 14, 2019. The focus of the event was on the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in national and international sphere. On the occasion, presentations and panel discussions were held and Achievers’ Awards were given away to corporates for their excellence in their respective fields. Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Parliamentary Affairs, Coal & Mines, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, was the Chief Guest, while Professor K.V. Thomas, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha and former Union Minister, H.E. Archil Dzuliashvili, Ambassador of Georgia to India, H.E. Desire Koumba, Ambassador of Gabon to India, H.E. Yogesh Punja, High Commissioner of Fiji, Surendra Nath Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ram Mohan Mishra, Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, and Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary at Ministry of Science and Technology, were the guests of honour.

In his welcome address, Professor Thomas talked about how innovation and technology is leading to the growth of India. He spoke on how the development of telephones to mobile phones and advancement in infrastructure like the functioning of Cochin Airport has made communication easier. He also gave the example of launch of the satellite Aryabhata, which received a lot of criticism at that time but proved to be the right step towards the beginning of progress. “Governments will go and come but policies should be permanent,” he said.

High Commissioner Punja came up with the issue of corporate social responsibility. Unfortunately, in business, people don’t know what is the limit and that is when corporate social responsibility enters, telling when to stop as money making is good but looking after people who helped you make it is more important. He said, “We need a manual to run our business, but in business there is no one manual to tell us and that’s a challenge.” He spoke how the socio-economic as well as the geopolitical issues are changing today and businesses should know what’s happening around them and understand where the world is going. “Globalization is under stress, nationalism is on the rise, South East Asia would be the focus of the businesses down the line, bilateral agreements would not be reciprocal because the resources aren’t proportionate,” he added. Pratap Chandra Sarangi, the Chief Guest, congratulated all the corporates for their contribution to the MSME sector, specially employment generation which is the need of the hour. He shared an incident between Jamsedji Tata and Swami Vivekananda to convey a message that by being an entrepreneur yourself instead of looking for a job, how you can move towards progress as well as create job opportunities for others too. He said it is important to inculcate the “value system” in the human beings and without this value system education will be counterproductive.

By value system, Minister Sarangi means adding value to the resources available to us. He explained it by giving an example of a stone, “If you crush a piece of stone, it will produce chips for `200 or `300 but when transformed into an image of God, it will have a value of `5,000, which is value addition.” Similarly, some energy needs to be put in human energy as everything we see today is the product of human mind and in spite of all the scientific and technological progress, if human element is bad, nothing good can be expected. Education should be designed in such a manner that the man is able to contribute towards the society. “We have to produce many things but only mass production is not the solution to our problems, it is not mass production but production by masses is the solution to our economic problems,” he said. Professor Ashutosh Sharma spoke on how “Small is beautiful, flexible, nimble, proactive and driven by individual brilliance, where people still matter unlike a large corporation where people are interchangeable.”

According to him, having a sufficiently small setup allows to bring unique insights to it which is usually driven by who we are. He further added saying that MSMEs are not as resistant to change as large corporations because the inertia is very less and it is possible to respond quickly to the changing circumstances. Diversity is very important even if every corporation is not performing at same level because an optimal solution is optimal only in a given set of conditions, everything working will cease to work as soon as the conditions change. “While we need to produce some unicorns, we need to have hundreds or thousands or lakhs or crores of MSMEs of different nature which cover a wide spectrum,” he said. “Industry can’t survive without science and technology,” said Surendra Nath Tripathi. He talked about the attempt to do what government doesn’t and a lot has been done already, and lot is being done but the only thing is either they are scattered or too small or the research cost is more than the benefit. He also adds that they are currently working on ‘ease of business’ and the Prime Minister has told them to shift from ease of doing business to expression of interest and all the things available in any domain should be digitalized so that the targeted population can get what is made for them. He also said that government do not creates value, and can only create policy environment, so ultimately job and wealth can only be created by entrepreneurship. He also asks to allow the scientific community to work with entrepreneurs and use their current or future knowledge whatever there is in public domain.

Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director of the Atal Innovation Mission National Institution for Transforming India, believes that we live in a world which is rapidly changing, and where technology is reimagining the world. India has an advantage that the world calls as demographic dividend where 65 per cent of our country is under 35 years old but what is the guarantee that 150 million students, who are going to enter the workplace will deliver, what 1.4 billion people is expecting from them. Ramanathan said that it is possible to become a $5 trillion economy because of the convergence of factors like stable and progressive government, demographic dividend, and an economy which is galloping away.

Additional Secretary to the Government of India and Development Commissioner for the Ministry of MSME, Ram Mohan Mishra congratulated all the awardees for their success and Amit Goenka to be able to felicitate corporates from different fields. He said that the important part for an economy is that if the cost is added to any of its segment, there is an aggregate cost to the national economy. Therefore, there is a need for an ecosystem building where everyone is quality conscious, competitive and reducing costs so that the aggregate cost to the national economy can go down. Also, he asks all the private corporates present there to be informed of all the opportunities available to them and become more oriented towards aggregate success.

Ms. Stuti Kacker, former Chairperson of NCPCR and Secretary Department of Disability Affairs, thanked the organizers for providing her an opportunity and a platform to communicate with the business corporates and also appreciated the Indian Achievers’ Forum on encouraging and felicitating the corporates with awards. Ambassador Archil Dzuliashvili talked about creating environment for investors to come. He listed out things which helped create the environment in his country like increasing the trust of citizens in their law enforcers, rooting out corruption, zero tolerance to crime, zero regulations and the most importantly having an open economy. He said that nothing is perfect, from coercion to implementation, but it has to be corrected on way and if we don’t start, we can’t correct. Also, it is important to go back to the reforms several times so as to bring the message to society and to have clear conception of the reforms. He also mentioned that in order to become the hub, they started signing free trade agreements with countries like China, Turkey and Ukraine.

Ambassador Desire Koumba congratulated the corporates for their achievements and also for being the backbone of India. He talked about how the development of MSMEs in India will lead to the development of other countries as well and stated that according to international statistics, India will become the third largest economy of the world by 2050. He talked about how the business can grow between India and Gabon. He guaranteed few things which will ease the business between the two countries including the companies in special economic zone where zero per cent tax is levied for 10 years and the electricity charges will be 50 per cent cheaper than market rates. He also informed that many structural reforms have taken place in his country to ease the business.

Ashutosh Rath, Head Corporate Communication at NALCO, presented a video on NALCO Ki Ladli, which is in line with Prime Minister’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative. Another video screened was that of Shubham Group which made a mark with the help of their students. Many companies including State Bank of India, National Small Industries Corporation, NALCO, National Stock Exchange and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) were felicitated by the Indian Achievers’ Forum with awards and citations at the day-long event.


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