The need for medium and small enterprises (SMEs) of Tiruchi to adapt to global conditions was stressed by S. Sundarrajan, Director, National Institute of Technology (NIT), while addressing a management capacity development programme here on Friday.

Dr. Sundarrajan said that the industrial scenario had thoroughly changed and the yesteryear success of SMEs had become irrelevant in the present context. In Tiruchi, the giant Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited provided all kinds of support when the SMEs were started but the situation had now changed. Like elsewhere, the Tiruchi SMEs were also facing problems due to various factors. The workshop, organised by the NIT under its UK-India Education Research Initiative in collaboration with BHEL, BHEL Small and Medium Industries Association, Indian Institute of Management-Tiruchi and Brunel University, UK, would serve to expose the SMEs of Tamil Nadu to the problems faced by their counterparts in the UK. But the solutions for problems faced in the UK should be Indianised to suit the local industry, the Director said.

M. Srinivasan, president, BHELSIA, felt that neglect of agriculture and manufacturing sectors in the last two years had resulted in the economic crisis faced by the nation. The small and medium enterprises, which were hailed as the backbone of the Indian economy, felt strained. The workshop, he was confident, would enable the entrepreneurs to “think beyond.” Tiruchi was ideally suited to take the SMEs beyond fabrication as it was endowed with all resources.

G. Kannabiran, Project Leader, said that the objectives of the project included understanding the training needs of SME owners and managers; preparing training materials with a teaching manual and creation of a website with capabilities of social media interaction among SMEs and trainers.

Select participants from the Tiruchi programme would be taken to the UK for firsthand experience of SME management. Earlier, Keith Dickson, Senior Professor of Brunel Business School, UK, introduced the programme to the participants. Similar programmes will be conducted in Coimbatore and Chennai in the next six months.