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MSME Day Highlights Innovations and Sustainability as Key Drivers for Global Economic Growth The sustainability sector must focus on three key pillars to propel MSMEs towards their net-zero targets: developing cost-effective green technologies tailored to MSME operations, implementing targeted capacity-building initiatives, and facilitating easier access to green financing options.

By Paromita Gupta

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The MSME Day is a momentous occasion to recognize the vital role of Micro, Small, Medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the global economy. These enterprises form the backbone of innovation, resilience, and economic development, creating millions of jobs and propelling growth across diverse sectors.

MSMEs are not only crucial for the economic stability but also for social cohesion and community development. Today, key industry leaders share their insights on the significance of MSMEs and their invaluable contributions to building a sustainable and technologically advanced future. Through their innovative approaches and unwavering commitment, MSMEs continue to shape the global landscape, fostering inclusive growth and driving progress in every corner of the world.

According to Dr. Mayur Sundararajan, CEO, Superfan utilizing energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources leads to substantial cost savings, efficiency improvements, and alignment with modern consumer and investor values.

"It is essential for MSMEs to embrace innovative and sustainable technologies that drive both environmental and economic benefits, paving the way for a more sustainable future," he added.

Siddhartha Bagri, Founder and CEO, Pravaig said, "Net zero cities depend on robust public transport. The sustainability industry must champion this shift! We need a new approach, one that prioritizes shared infrastructure for a connected future. We're culturally a very sustainable society on an individual and family level, however, as that grows to localities, towns and cities, there is lack of ownership. Ditching copy-paste regulations from other western markets, and fostering unique solutions is critical. Efficient and effective public transport is the answer to a sustainable future."

The sustainability sector must focus on three key pillars to propel MSMEs towards their net-zero targets: developing cost-effective green technologies tailored to MSME operations, implementing targeted capacity-building initiatives, and facilitating easier access to green financing options.

Neelam Pandita, AVP-ESG, BlackSoil said, "Adopting circular economy practices, enhancing resource efficiency, and fostering collaborative networks for knowledge-sharing are essential strategies. We can catalyse their transformation towards sustainability by equipping MSMEs with practical sustainability tools and fostering strategic alliances. This approach ensures the continued prosperity of these vital enterprises and aligns their growth with global environmental objectives, creating a win-win scenario for the economy and the planet."

Sriram Kanuri, CEO & Founder, Arteria Technologies said that companies should focus on integrating advanced digital platforms that unify their entire supply chain, from suppliers to retailers.

Dinesh Arjun, CEO and co-founder, Raptee said that the sustainability sector should focus on several key areas. Emphasis must be placed on the reduction of waste generation and the selection of materials with minimal environmental impact. Additionally, prioritizing research and development in products that have a low carbon footprint is essential. This includes minimizing carbon emissions during product development, delivery, and customer usage.

"Reusing materials and enhancing recycling processes are also critical components. Furthermore, harnessing renewable energy sources, particularly solar energy, throughout the production cycle is vital. Investing in resilient and sustainable infrastructure is also crucial, as it supports long-term sustainability goals and ensures the infrastructure can withstand environmental challenges. By addressing these aspects, the sustainability sector can make significant strides toward achieving net zero," he added.

According to Akash Kalra, Transfer Pricing and International Economics Manager, Ernst & Young, US, MSMEs are one of the critical pillars of the Indian economy, contributing approximately 29 per cent to the GDP, 44 per cent to the exports and employing over 123 million people.

"Entrepreneurs should prioritize sustainability, responsible capitalism, expanding their businesses internationally, and understanding international economics. These focus areas are the launch pads for sustainable growth and global success," Kalra added.

Sharing his thoughts on MSME Day, Ankit Mathur, Co-Founder, Greenway Grameen said that net zero conversations are seen as being a boardroom exercise but grassroots initiatives can also contribute to achievement of net zero in a big way.

"Access to cleaner cooking methods can significantly reduce emissions, perhaps lowering India's overall emissions by 2%. Greenway Appliances has contributed to community projects with their energy-efficient Greenway stoves, which not only cut emissions but also provide a sustainable cooking choice for many rural families. This shows that small-scale, community-driven actions can have a significant impact on the path to Net Zero, indicating that meeting these objectives necessitates both high-level strategy and grassroots engagement," Mathur added.

Sharing his thoughts on MSME Day, Ashvin Patil, Founder and Director, Biofuels Junction Private Limited said that the sustainability industry should continue to focus on promoting biofuel solutions to support MSMEs in their journey toward a greener future.

"Biofuels offer stable pricing and lower volatility compared to fossil fuels, providing both economic benefits and environmental advantages for small businesses. By prioritizing this transition, MSMEs can not only achieve significant cost savings but also play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering long-term sustainability," he added.

Meanwhile, SIDBI stated that the industry shall address the challenges posed by global dynamics and technological advancements, it is imperative that we continue to support MSMEs with tailored initiatives, access to finance, skill development, and market linkages.

These efforts not only enhance their competitiveness but also contribute to sustainable development goals and inclusive growth.

Saurabh C, Founder, Togopool has emphasize the transformational potential of carpooling and bike pooling in hitting the net-zero target.

"These practices significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road, leading to decreased greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality. Shared transportation not only cuts down on the carbon footprint but also promotes better hygiene. At Togopool, we are dedicated to offering safe, reliable, and eco-friendly carpooling and bike pooling services. We believe that with widespread adoption of these measures, we can not only ease traffic congestion but also make significant strides towards a sustainable future. Shared mobility is vital in our journey towards net-zero emissions," Saurabh added.

Meanwhile, Porter which offers logistics solutions to MSMEs, believes that logistics serves as the backbone of this sector, enabling the seamless movement of goods and services that drive growth. This year's theme, 'Building a Stronger Future Together,' aptly captures the essence of what is needed for mutual growth with sustainability at its core.

"Moving towards a sustainable future will require the industry to come together. There is also an urgent need to invest in robust infrastructure, with a significant focus on R&D, charging infrastructure, and battery technologies. This transition to EVs will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also ensure a more efficient and cost-effective logistics network for MSMEs," Manish Gupta, VP, Trucks, Porter said.

Paromita Gupta

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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