Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) units in and around Bengaluru with innovation to their credit have made use of the ‘manufacturing eco-system’ to become creative and have begun to offer services to major industries.

Hand-holding and partnerships by major public sector undertakings such as HAL, BEL, scientific establishments like ISRO, NAL, ADA and private sector led by both domestic and MNCs have provided SMEs and MSME units opportunities and freedom for their aspirations.

With this eco-system strengthening by the day, now many units are serving major national and international programmes and have also become indispensable stakeholders. Key players are now the beneficiaries of various Karnataka government schemes or initiatives to scale-up production or help product diversification.

In the last couple of years, this sector has been witnessing investment flow to various sectors like aerospace and defence equipment manufacturing, automobiles, auto components and electric vehicles manufacturing, biotech, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, agriculture and food processing and machinery, textile and apparels and innovation and start-ups, among others.

SMEs and MSMEs in Karnataka are also leveraging Bengaluru’s technology base, manufacturing prowess for their survival. This is visible with many companies utilising common platform of Central Public sector Undertakings (CPSUs), State public sector enterprises (SPEs), mega and large industrial units utilising their unique or innovative services and have become preferred vendors of their choice.

DV Prasad, Karnataka Additional Chief Secretary, emphasises the importance of the initiatives undertaken by the state government to develop the ecosystem for the overall industrial development; with special focus on the MSME sector.

Aerospace cluster

After IT, electronics and machine tool clusters, Karnataka has identified aerospace eco-system as the next focus area to strengthen state’s competitive base and is not leaving any stone unturned.

The state is helping SMEs and MSMEs to bag orders. To facilitate or push their case, RV Deshpande, Minister for Large, Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, recently met senior executives of Lockheed Martin India and Boeing India in New Delhi.

The Karnataka government, at the recently concluded national vendor development summit, provided and facilitated extensive one-one meetings with many companies mainly to enquire about their requirements.

“Already, sizable SME and MSME units are part of the common platform. This time around, we are planning to help small companies in identifying their market and for companies, vendors of their choice in terms of production capacity and quality standards,” said Deshpande.

Promoting Belgaum

To strengthen the state’s aerospace manufacturing, the Karnataka government has been aggressively promoting Belgaum as a tier-II city in north Karnataka.

Basavaraj Javali, founder of Belagavi-based Beejay Enterprises (which is a manufacturer of hydraulic products for industrial, automotive, mobile, agriculture and process industries) said “Despite political hurdles, the city has witnessed numerous developments like setting up of a 300-acre special economic zone - Private Aerospace SEZ on the Pune-Bengaluru National Highway (NH-4) to cater to the precision engineering requirements of the global aerospace, automotive and industrial needs.”

Aerospace SEZ managed by Aequs SEZ has successfully built the well-endowed aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in Belagavi through joint ventures and acquisitions of the aerospace majors across the world. This company is one of the preferred vendors of Airbus Industries.

Govt intervention

SMEs and MSMEs are present virtually in every sector possible, be it IT/ITES, IT-enabled, electric vehicles, robotics, drone technologies. In times of jobless growth, the entrepreneurs of Karnataka have the opportunity to create a large number of jobs.

Seeing an opportunity provided by major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) in the state, the Karnataka government has stepped in to hand-hold SMEs/MSMEs.

The SMEs and MSMEs were doing well despite slowdown and had created about 80 per cent of 13.91 lakh jobs in the State.

Darpan Jain, Karnataka Commissioner for Industrial Development, Department of Industries and Commerce, recently toured the country and interacted with more than 100 companies to push their case.

Jain said “Keeping the ‘manufacturing eco-system’ and the way the CPSUs, SPSUs and private sector majors are engaging with SMEs and MSMEs we provided a national platform by holding the two-day ‘National Vendor Development Summit’.”

“The summit offered a common platform to showcase SMEs and MSMEs’ talent and CPSUs, SPSUs, mega and large industrial units in identifying vendors of their choice in terms of production capacity and quality standards,” he added.

Vendor summit

“The Vendor Summit is a good move. This provided a platform for people like us to aim high and also helped us understand the need of the OEMs,” said HJ Hamsaraj, proprietor of Hamshine, a Hassan-based solar electronics and energy service provider.

Kassia President R Hanumanthe Gowda said the Karnataka government after seeing the worth of SMEs and MSMEs has begun to looking into the issues faced by us and it plans to speed up infra works in all industrial areas and release additional funds to take up road repair works in the industrial areas on priority.

“It is high time the government has fixed basic infrastructure in industrial areas. Kassia has given numerous representations and has pointed out that a grant of ₹100 crore provided by state government has remained underutilised,” he added.

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