By Muhammad Ahmad Sheikh (Broadcaster/ journalist / Incharge R & D, the Sheikhupura Chamber of Commerce & Industry)
The National Entrepreneurship Development
Is SMEDA Working for National Destiny?
SME Baseline survey 2009 may provide a functional start to National Economy.
If we explore the history of National entrepreneurship and its development we shall find that almost every company we know today began as an SME. Europe, United States, China and our neighbour India started developing Microsoft industries with small man power in a rented house or in a small industrial unit.
Vodafone as we know it today was once a little spin-off from Racal; Hewlett-Packard started in a little wood shack; Google was begun by a couple of young kids who thought they had a good idea; even Volkswagen at one point was just a little car maker in Germany.
It is believed that Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as key actors in national development and employment creation.
World trade and manufacturing is now shifting to east. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very assorted group of businesses usually operating in the service, trade, agri-business, and manufacturing sectors.
The contribution of uplifting National Economy and improving National prosperity the role of Small and medium industries is imperative.
In Pakistan small business and cottage industries hold an important position in rural areas. In 2005 infrastructure in remote areas had improved considerably. Most villages are self sufficient in the basic necessities of life.
They have their own carpenters, blacksmiths, potters, craftsmen and cotton weavers. Many families depend on cottage industries for income.
Due to the tremendous effort of Smeda (Small and medium enterprises Development authority) the concept of small industries have also gained immense importance in cities and towns. Government should encourage cottage and small-scale industries
Government support to this workable Organization with its proven success record both in rural set up, cities and towns is crucial.SME BASELINE SURREY-2009is a tremendous effort done by the team of policy and planning division of Smeda under the dynamic leadership of its chief Shahid Rashid. This survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank is inclusive report and guide line for SMEs policy makers. All the chapters of this survey reports grab the attention of business community as its deals with almost all related aspects that bound with promotion of entrepreneurial culture.
The objective of this survey is;
• To assess the baseline perception of SME’s on various issues and institutions.
• What are the factors causing SME’s in Pakistan not to grow.
• Why people (Entrepreneurs, Men and Women) are reluctant to move ahead to achieve affluence for themselves for Nation as a whole.
Research and Development are important factors of enhancing production and knowing new business techniques. SME Baseline Survey 2009 indicates an alarming picture. It states that 45.2 percent SMEs do not spent any income on R & D. Generally, SMEs are satisfied in producing the stuff traditionally. It is a matter of grave concern. This survey can help the policy maker to devise the future plan for SMEs development.
In a Symposium held at a local hotel under aegis of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) on 18th May,2009 , in which renowned economists, policy makers, high ups from business community and professionals from media were invited.
Chief Guest Mr. Sartaj Aziz, former Federal Finance Minister showed his apprehension that concrete step is yet not taken to promote the SME sector despite the facts that government knows the obstacles that messing up mess up Small and Medium entrepreneurs. Neglect of merit, political interference and law and order situation are responsible for present economic condition of Pakistan he added.
Mr. Awais Mazhar Hussain, a prominent business leader said that Small Businesses are the back bone of National economy if properly looked after and backed by the government. Vocational training and improved infrastructure can turn the potential in profit in real sense. Mr. Awais appreciated the valuable role which SMEDA has been playing with commitment and zeal in limited resources since its inception in 1998.
Dr. Salman Shah, former Finance Advisor & renowned economist praised the role of policy and planning division of Smeda for conducting such a useful survey. He was confident that the current survey will be helpful to draw measures for the required support for growing SMEs as well as for the existing SMEs.
SMEDA could not meet the high target of developing the widest sector of economy known as SME sector with its present budget of Rs.150 million per annum only.
Mr. Shahid Rashid, CEO SMEDA thanked for the financial assistance provided by Asian Development Bank for conducting this survey. He also admired the efforts made by policy and planning team for their dedicated efforts for the preparation of survey report.
Time is slipping away. China, Malaysia, India are emerging economy. China has declared New Strategies to capture the world Market under the slogan China’s way of war.
Like Malaysian Government Pakistan Government should place the development of SMEs on a high priority area and this should be reflected in its National development agendas. With the consultation of highly skilled staff of SMEDA the policy makers should prepare the key strategies for SME development in coming years. Like
Malaysia Pakistan Government may constitute National SME Development Council.
The consistent progress and devote work of SMEDA during the last 12 years reveals that SMEDA is a right organization to be trusted. Ministry of industries and production should give maximum incentive to this viable institution.
If we develop industrial infrastructure, make friendly policies for entrepreneurs, give priority to human resource development and more importantly say good-bye to nuisance of fleeting policies, over time these measures will reduce trade dependency to the markets of other countries and decrease its vulnerability to external pressure or shocks.