April 10, 2024

New Delhi

Unlocking Digital Horizons for MSMEs in India 

Partners: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), DAI

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) constitute a significant portion of India’s economic landscape. Despite a significant thrust from policy, a large percentage of these enterprises remain unregistered with statutory offices, rendering them invisible within the policy domain. However, the evolving digital landscape presents a transformative opportunity for these micro enterprises. 

In recognition of this potential, the South Asia Regional Digital Initiative (SARDI), a collaborative effort between USAID and DAI, initiated a fellowship program in India, which is anchored by LEAD. The program supported three policy fellowships at the intersection of digitalisation and MSMEs to catalyse sustainable changes in the policy ecosystem. 

As the fellowship draws to a close, a knowledge-sharing workshop was organised to showcase key insights and opportunities for facilitating digital adoption by MSMEs, across a diverse range of sectors. The workshop presented key insights gathered during the fellowship program, emphasising the challenges and opportunities in digital adoption for microenterprises. 

Featured Speakers

Inaugural Session:

  • Dr. Carrie Antal, Deputy Director, Indo-Pacific Office, USAID India
  • Roshan Nair, Specialist – Digital Inclusion, USAID
  • Sharon Buteau, Executive Director, LEAD at Krea University

Insights from the SARDI Fellowship Portfolio:

  • Santanu Pramanik, Research Director, LEAD at Krea University
  • Vatsima Tripathi, Senior Research Associate, LEAD at Krea University

Panel Discussion:

  • Suvendu Rout, Vice President, Access Development Services
  • Jiji Mammen, Executive Director, Sa-dhan
  • Deepanshu Khandelwal, CEO, Catalyst Atal Incubation Centre at IFMR
  • Moderator: Pradnya Godbole, CEO, deAsra Foundation and Director, Centre for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Development

Experience Sharing by Fellows:

  • Eisha Choudhury, SARDI India MSME Tech Policy Fellow
  • Vibhanshu Kumar, SARDI India MSME Tech Policy Fellow
  • Shubhangi Jaiswal, SARDI India MSME Tech Policy Fellow

Closing Remarks: Preethi Rao, Director – Partnerships & Outreach, LEAD at Krea University

Experts delved into intersectional factors, including gender, crucial for the digital and MSME landscape and explored collaborative prospects for the ecosystem. More details forthcoming.