IIM Raipur conducted a networking event for entrepreneurs on January 11th 2019 titled Entrepreneurs University. The aim of the event was to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to contemplate on the topic ‘Taking Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Forward’ and engage in a vibrant discussion. The Panel discussion was attended by around 40 entrepreneurs from Raipur.

IIM Raipur

The event started off with an insightful opening address delivered by Prof. Bharat Bhasker, the Director of IIM Raipur. Prof. Bhasker stressed on the importance of SME industry by throwing light on the fact that almost half of the employment in our country is provided by the SME sector. He also went on to state that the true measurement of our country’s growth can be done by looking at the situation of MSMEs. He concluded with the thoughts that even though manufacturing is becoming automated, MSMEs will have an equal or even bigger role going into the future. This is because they would need lesser investment as they evolve from the manufacturing sector to the service sector.

The opening address was followed by a panel discussion on the aforementioned topic. The panel was moderated professionally by Lt. Col. Dr. Samar Singh, Assistant Professor - Business Policy and strategy, IIM Raipur and the esteemed panellists were Mr. Sunil Mishra, Managing Director, Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd; Mr. Harsh Chopra, Founder, Partners 4 Growth;  Dr. Jagrook Dawra, Associate Professor - Marketing, IIM Raipur, each of them a repository of knowledge themselves.

IIM Raipur

The panel discussion was set to motion by the moderator and Mr. Sunil Mishra was the first to share his thoughts. He emphasized that the government policies are totally focussed towards the SME sector and was quite convinced about the government’s good work in this regard. However, he raised concerns about a huge gap between the benefits the government offers and the benefits the SMEs take. He urged students and entrepreneurs to bridge this gap by facilitating the process so that SMEs can derive maximum benefits.

IIM Raipur

Dr. Jagrook Dawra gave his inputs to the discussion by drawing comparison on the basis of the Ease of doing business rankings, with countries like China. While it was quite disheartening to see India rank quite poorly on most parameters, Dr. Dawra drew a positive perspective and said that a slight betterment of the ease of doing business rankings would ensure a huge rise in growth rates, owing to the indomitable spirit of the entrepreneurs of India. He also took the opportunity to talk about IIM Raipur’s new Post Graduate Program in Management for Working Executives (PGPMWE) to ensure that there is no lack of managerial knowledge in entrepreneurs.

Mr. Harsh Chopra then dwelled on issues where the interest of the family and the interest of the business overlap. His vast experience in dealing with such issues was quite evident in his narrative. Various topics like sibling rivalry, succession planning, family charter, etc were discussed in a very engaging manner.

The Panel discussion ended on a positive note by Mr. Sunil Mishra stating that most compliances for SMEs are now under the self-certified mode and it is only going to get better moving forward. The house was then thrown open for a Q&A session.

The Q&A session was testimony to how insightful and thought provoking the one hour discussion turned out to be. Entrepreneurs and professionals were vibrant with enthusiasm and the esteemed panel diligently answered all their queries. The session came to a close with a vote of thanks delivered by Mr. Deepak Verma from ICICI team, followed by a sumptuous buffet dinner and some informal knowledge sharing and networking. ICICI partnered with IIM Raipur to hold the event.

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