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How Godrej Capital Nirmaan is ‘Building Bridges’ to transform the MSME landscape

Godrej Capital Nirmaan hosted Building Bridges, an event aimed at empowering MSMEs through strategic initiatives and conversations, fostering inclusive growth in the entrepreneurial landscape

How Godrej Capital Nirmaan is ‘Building Bridges’ to transform the MSME landscape

Wednesday April 03, 2024 , 5 min Read

Since its inception in 2023, Godrej Capital Nirmaan has been instrumental in reshaping the MSME landscape, guiding countless businesses towards transformative success. On March 5, 2024, Godrej Capital, in association with YourStory, hosted Building Bridges, signifying a strategic approach to being enablers of change within the entrepreneurial landscape by initiating conversations and helping address issues faced by MSMEs through its Nirmaan initiative.

Manish Shah, Managing Director and CEO, Godrej Capital, kicked off the evening with a keynote that emphasised the importance of collaboration in supporting small businesses.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it's heartening to see the collaborative efforts under way to support their growth. Our partnerships exemplify this commitment, as we work hand-in-hand to empower small businesses digitally,” Shah said.

“From inception to now, witnessing the exponential growth through partnerships is a testament to the transformative power of strategic alliances. Together, we are not just creating opportunities but shaping the future of entrepreneurship in India,” he added.

Ajit B. Chavan, Joint Secretary, Government of India and Additional CEO, Government e-Marketplace, shared how GeM has experienced exponential growth, primarily driven by MSMEs.

Launched in 2016, Government e-Marketplace is a significant initiative by the Government of India aimed at revolutionising the procurement process for goods and services by various government departments, ministries, and organisations. GeM serves as a unified online platform where government buyers can procure a wide range of products and services directly from registered sellers/vendors.

"I'm confident that through the collective efforts of organisations sharing the same vision and commitment, we can truly make a significant impact in the years ahead. The journey towards empowering MSMEs and fostering inclusive growth is not just a solitary endeavour but a collaborative one, requiring concerted efforts and unwavering dedication.

“As we forge ahead, I am optimistic about the continued cooperation and support from the Godrej Capital Nirmaan platform and its team, whose shared values align closely with our mission,” Chavan added.

Breaking barriers together: Cross-industry collaboration between corporates and MSMEs

The first panel comprised Manish Shah, MD and CEO, Godrej Capital; Rajat Verma, MD and Head of Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank India; Sujai Raina, Vice President and Head of Business Development, Visa; Sonali Kalyanikar, RVP Financial Services, Salesforce India; and Binaifer Jehani, Business Head, MI&A Assessments, CRISIL Limited. It was led by Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory.

Several key points were discussed regarding the challenges and opportunities that MSMEs face and the potential for collaboration with corporates to address them. The conversation highlighted the multifaceted nature of the obstacles, ranging from limited access to capital to issues with digitisation, skilled manpower, and market reach. While MSMEs are resourceful, their growth is often hindered by these challenges, underscoring the need for strategic partnerships and support from larger corporate entities.

The discussion also highlighted the role of corporates in helping MSMEs scale. Through collaborations, corporates can assist MSMEs in reaching larger audiences, accessing technology, and adhering to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) standards. By leveraging their expertise and resources, corporates can empower MSMEs to overcome barriers related to market reach, digitisation, and manpower.

Conversely, MSMEs also have much to offer to corporates in terms of agility, innovation, and market responsiveness. The panellists stressed that collaboration between corporates and MSMEs should be a two-way street, where both parties benefit mutually. MSMEs can provide corporates with opportunities for growth and innovation, while corporates can support MSMEs in navigating challenges and accessing new markets.

Against all odds: How pioneering leaders nurtured success in the small-business jungle

The second-panel discussion included Nitin Jain, Co-founder and CBO, OfBusiness; Sandip Chhetri, CEO, Tradeindia.com; S Venkat, Co-founder, Practus; and Shachindra Nath, Founder and MD, UGRO Capital. It was moderated by Manasi Phadnis, Senior Anchor, YourStory.

Speakers delved into the transformative journeys of entrepreneurs in India's MSME landscape. Jain’s transition from banking in London to founding a company in India underscored the drive to make a larger impact, despite initial challenges in adapting to the Indian business culture. Chhetri’s ecommerce venture navigated the pandemic by embracing digital solutions, emphasising perseverance and adaptability as key drivers of success.

Practus’s Co-founder, Venkat, identified a common pain point among entrepreneurs and introduced fractional CFO services to address the problem, highlighting the importance of purpose-driven businesses. Similarly, Nath’s journey with UGRO Capital was marked by overcoming financial struggles and industry transformations, emphasising the significance of clarity in purpose.

Chhetri's advice for small businesses venturing into global markets stressed the importance of digital transformation, market research, branding, supply chain integration, and payment solutions.

The discussion shed light on the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship, stressing the role of purpose, adaptability, and innovation in driving success.

As we navigate through challenges and opportunities, the emphasis on collaboration, purpose-driven businesses, adaptability, and innovation remains paramount. With concerted efforts from both MSMEs and larger corporates, the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem can continue to thrive, breaking barriers and forging new paths towards sustainable growth and prosperity.

If you are interested in partnering with Godrej Capital Nirmaan, please reach out at [email protected]