Supporting SMEs: Nasscom's new high-powered agenda

Small and Medium-sized software and services companies (SMEs), that constitute a substantial part of Nasscom membership are no longer going to stay in the background. If Nasscom's new strategy and initiatives for the SME sector are anything to go by, small companies are going to get a major helping hand from their bigger, more robust brethren.

Supporting SMEs

Nasscom to champion SME cause

The SME contingent within Nasscom needs no longer be worried about staying on the sidelines. The software and services umbrella organization is now set to redress some of the grievances the smaller members have been orchestrating for the past few years, and in all likelihood, the Nasscom strategy will be a winner.

Nasscom has in fact been hosting brainstorming sessions with its membership in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad to understand the problems faced by the SME segment and to device initiatives to successfully combat these issues. The Nasscom member meeting in Delhi for instance, especially focused on the SME sector, which represents a major proportion of the Nasscom membership. The objective of these meets was also to elicit feedback from the smaller members on Nasscom activities and how these could be beefed up to accommodate the aspirations of the SME participants.

The proceedings on the New Delhi meet, which found echoes in Bangalore and Hyderabad centered around defining more clearly the SME segment and the role it could play in expanding the Indian software and services industry both at home and overseas.

Help vis-à-vis Government contracts

Based on the input that SME companies lose out on lucrative Government and defense contracts that usually go to larger ICT players, Nasscom has decided that it will take some kind of policy initiatives to ensure that SMEs get a percentage of contracts emanating out of this segment. bigger players.

As part of its initiatives to improve the SME standing with the Government, Nasscom also decided to catalyze software development for Indian languages. This was in line with the Government's stand that it would compulsorily spend around five percent on the development of software for Indian languages.

Marketing picture

The other area where SMEs need a helping hand from Nasscom is in the area of marketing. These companies find it difficult to establish their credentials, particularly in overseas markets. The agenda suggested by Nasscom here, centered around developing synergies between the small and big players. The organization has also suggested that more road shows and focused events be held in order to generate leads for the SME players. Nasscom's overseas offices are also going to help in the marketing activities of the SME member companies by creating comprehensive and effective corporate communication/PR campaigns for the Indian IT SMEs overseas.

Some of the other initiatives that Nasscom will taking on behalf of the SMEs include the promotion of product/technology development and other innovative activities of member companies through Newsline, the newsletter launched by Nasscom recently. This newsletter will be circulated among overseas trade associations.

Video conferencing facilities will be set up for SMEs at conferences/seminars overseas to enable these companies to participate, albeit virtually, in international events. Efforts will also be made by Nasscom through forums and consortia to help SMEs identify new markets. The Nasscom website will be further beefed up to provide information such as business inquiries for the benefit of SMEs. The formation of an SME forum facilitating interaction between the SMEs themselves and a CIO forum are some of the other initiatives planned by Nasscom.

SME funding

Nasscom is also considering interacting with the Government on the issue of creating a marketing fund to promote the SME segment. Players from the SME segment are likely to be ready to make contributions in this regard to generate more business leads.

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Plans are also afoot for Nasscom to work with trade commissions of Indian high commissions and embassies to promote the Indian industry, particularly the SME sector.


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