Focus on small businesses to drive manufacturing: Anand Mahindra

Mumbai: Asserting that domestic manufacturing has not lost its mojo, business leader Anand Mahindra has said “a new round of boom is upon us”, and sought increased public policy focus on small businesses so that they drive this next wave of growth.

“The focus should not be on big businesses or large industry or groups. The real growth in employment and in manufacturing is going to come from SMEs, the entrepreneurial small sector,” Mahindra said at a book launch event on Wednesday evening.

The country has for long “disincentivised”small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)s from growth and scale through archaic labour laws that offer zero flexibility once they expand, he said.

“We have built in an incentive to stay microscopic and not to grow,” the Mahindra group chairman said, adding that fiscal and labour law-related disincentives have to be done away with and SMEs must be helped with aspects like skilling.

“Nurturing the SME ecosystem is what needs to be looked at rather than lamenting that the top-20 business houses have not invested. They are not the ones who are going to deliver employment going forward,” he said.

Mahindra also sought to downplay concerns on the manufacturing scenario, saying it is only the leveraged firms that are going slow, but there is increased interest from overseas to set shop here. It can be noted that despite an over one decade push to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% from the present 16% to 17%, nothing has moved on the ground level so far.


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