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Industry & Economy - SSI


`Match-making' meet for Kerala SMEs planned

Mony K. Mathew

Thiruvananthapuram , June 2

TAKING a step or two further from the business-to-business (B2B) meet held last year, the Kerala Industries Department, it is learnt, is firming up plans to hold a "match-making" convention for the small and medium enterprises in the State.

The idea behind the meet is to help the SMEs highlight their specific financial, technical and marketing problems at a common forum where institutions and organisations concerned will be at hand to offer solutions.

Even taking over of sick units by others could be discussed and tied up at the convention.

To begin with, the district industries centres will collect information on the enterprises in need, identify their specific problems and put the compiled data online at "industry resources locator" sites of the department.

This will help the institutions and others to prepare their responses and proposals to be put forth at subsequent interactions.

It has been planned to hold district-wise conventions at 10 centres this year itself as a run-up to a major meet in Kochi some time early next year.

At these conventions, the enterprises from the respective districts will have an opportunity to discuss and evolve draft plans of action in matters such as technological upgradation or marketing arrangements with organisations and institutions dealing in these areas.

The financial institutions such as banks will be represented at these conventions and they will look into the working capital and other financial needs of the enterprises as also help put together one-time settlement proposals, wherever necessary. Take-over proposals, if any, will also be considered at these conventions.

At the major meet in Kochi, the proposals will be taken up for further vetting and follow-up action. A business-to-business meet will also be part of the event.

The district industries centres have already set in motion the work of collecting data on enterprises by issuing detailed questionnaires on various aspects.

It is estimated that as much as half of the more than two lakh small-scale industries in Kerala are in a state of hibernation for a variety of reasons.

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