Do’s and Don’ts for SME CEOs

| Updated on February 19, 2014 Published on February 19, 2014

bl20_sme_ Sunil Parekh, Strategic Advisor, Zydus Cadila.JPG

bl20_sme_Devendra Jain, CMD, Atishya Group.JPG

bl20_sme_Hiren Bhatt, director, KPMG in India.jpg

bl20_sme_Rajiv Vastupal, CMD, Rajiv Group of Companies.jpg

bl20_sme_T V Rao, chairman, T V Rao Learning Systems.JPG

bl20_sme_Vikram Kapoor, Channel Head SME, UTI MF.JPG

The 4th edition of SME CEO Knowledge Forum 2014 - Ahmedabad was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Vishal Gada, Partner, KPMG in India. The discussion circled around the issues faced by the SMEs mainly in the field of finance, leadership and management. Below are the edited excerpts of what the experts on the panel deliberated during the discussion:

Sunil R Parekh, Strategic Advisor, Zydus Cadila Group

The SME CEOs should lead their organisations in giving vision. They should strive to get quality manpower and have access to affordable finance.

The SME CEOs should refrain from wasting time on day-to-day routine work and instead focus on primary goal of business development.

The SME CEOs should appoint liaison and compliance officials. Besides, there is also a need for these CEOs to undergo business education and upgradation required as that they know about the availability of assistance required.

Each SME should have an advisory board and women, too, should be brought in on it. This would open new dimensions to their business. They could also enter into alliances for further growth. The SMEs often undergo a lot of ups and downs.

They should also consider inorganic growth.

Rajiv Vastupal, Chairman & MD, Rajiv Group of Companies

The SMEs, particularly medium enterprises, require continuous capital expenditures. They should be cautious about diversion of funds from working capital to capital expenditure.

They should also be wary of routine delays stressing margins and waste of time in compliances and tax, among other things.

As a point of advice, the SMEs should control costs at all stages and retain their core team by going the extra mile as success heightens their expectations. Besides, they should diversify their portfolio of customers and refrain from depending on a single customer.

TV Rao, Chairman,

TV Rao Learning

SMEs should emphasise on ethical, transparent and value-based management. They should refrain from manipulations as it may rebound on them at some point of time as that may harm their businesses. Creativity, constant innovation and self-management for good entrepreneurship too should remain in focus. They should promote positive thought processes, control overhead expenses and encourage confidence-building.

On a personal experience, it was a feeling of harassment from tax officials for seven years until one of them sorted out the problems.

Ideal example is that CEO should be like Vidura, in the Mahabharata epic who acted as the CEO of the Dhritarashtra regime. The CEOs should always give the right advice. Besides, for an SME, human resource development is a must.

Devendra Jain, Chairman & MD, Atishya Technologies

Fixed cost planning should begin in the earliest stages of the small businesses as working capital is the main concern for the SMEs.

They must take into account payment planning for at least three cycles of 90 days each for working capital. Both costs and management of capital is necessary. “Jugad” at each stage, becomes necessary for growth. Besides, the SME should have regular and timely reviews of self-analysis on a weekly to annual basis.

They should be cautious about fund realisation, sales planning, regular costs flow etc even at cost-to-cost sales. Immediate realisation of costs flow is a must for survival of an SME.

Vikram Kapoor, Channel Head SME,

UTI Mutual Fund

The SME CEOs should try to outsource whatever they could so as to focus solely on development of their business. They should form a trusted core team to outsource the maximum number of tasks possible.

Cost and financial management is of paramount importance. Instead of keeping money in their current account in a bank, which draws no interest, they could start depositing these surplus funds, wherever possible, even for a day with mutual funds etc. This would earn them interest.

Hiren Bhatt, Director, KPMG in India

The SMEs should have advisors on various compliances and focus themselves solely on the growth of their business. If they get bogged down by compliances like legal matters, they could lose out on bigger plans. For a successful SME, optimisation and planning of efforts at each stage is necessary.

Published on February 19, 2014
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