by Aritra Banerjee
The Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD), in partnership with Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), organised the second edition of the ‘MSME Conclave 2021’ on 4 December 2021 at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, New Delhi.
The conclave aimed to bring Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) into the defence supply chain, thereby boosting the country’s self-reliance in defence and contributing towards the burgeoning defence exports market. It was held as a hybrid conference keeping safety protocols in consideration.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the Chief Guest at the event, called upon MSMEs to invest more in research and development and manufacture new products and technologies, thereby contributing to the security and progress of security and progress the country.
He further urged MSMEs and SIDM to create an industrial base in India, on the lines of ‘Mittelstand’ (Mittel-Stunt) of Germany, which the whole world has recognised for manufacturing metal equipment. He described MSMEs as the backbone of the industry, which is equally responsible for economic activities and social development.
“India will soon become a state-of-the-art technology provider not only for the Indian Armed Forces but also for the world,”– Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told those in attendence –
The Defence Minister lauded SIDM for actively working with the Government to promote private sector participation in defence manufacturing, saying that it is playing an essential role by informing the industries about the initiatives of the Government, apprising the Ministry of their views and providing valuable suggestions in new policies being made. He said the growth and ever-expanding reach of SIDM reflect the development of the Indian defence industry. He hoped that this Conclave would provide them with newer growth opportunities.
In his opening remarks, Jayant Patil, President, SIDM, reiterated SIDM’s commitment towards supporting MSMEs and facilitating their growth. “In the last six to seven years, there has been a complete metamorphosis in the Defence Industry wherein indigenous content has doubled,” he said. He added that the Industry could have 80 – 85% indigenous content in the next three to four years with recent reforms. He stated that MSMEs are the backbone of the defence industry as it generates 50% of revenue for large companies.
SP Shukla, Vice President, SIDM remarked that MSME’s have given most innovations to the world and that MSMEs and large companies together will make the defence sector a thriving sector.
Sunil Kumar Misra, Director General, SIDM, highlighted that the first MSME Conclave was held virtually in 2020 and that the event’s result is being seen today with many MSMEs getting involved in the Defence sector.
Subsequent sessions were held on Make Procedures, SRIJAN Portal, Defence Industrial Corridors, Banking Mechanisms for MSMEs and Procurement Reforms where senior officials from the Services, Ministry of Defence and Industry gave their perspectives.
The Conference was physically attended by over 100 delegates, while over 150 were there at the conclave virtually.
SIDM is a not-for-profit association formed to be the apex body of the Indian defence industry. SIDM plays a proactive role as an advocate, catalyst, and facilitator for India’s growth and capability building of the defence industry.