SMEs should get more opportunities: FKCCI

The process of defence procurements is so complex that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) face several hurdles in entering the sector, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry president R. Shivakumar said here on Thursday.

SMEs should be given greater opportunities in the defence sector, he said and added that at least 30 per cent of defence procurements could come from SMEs.

Mr. Shivakumar was speaking at the MSME Defexpo 2013, an international sub-contracting and supply exhibition on defence, aerospace and home security.

On the defence perspective, Major General Sanjeev Shukla said that if MSMEs ensure that the standards of their products are at par with international ones, the Indian Army will be able to accommodate up to 70 per cent of their purchases indigenously. “Two and three-tier vendors, in particular, could contribute in a large way,” he said. “Indigenisation is key to the entire industry,” he added.

While MSMEs have great opportunities in the defence sector, indigenisation of products has been “limited”, and “links between companies and buyers need to be built”, said H.P. Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of the National Small Industries Corporation. “We need to strengthen linkages in the supply chain,” he said.

Union Minister of State for MSMEs K.H. Muniyappa said that local production and capabilities should be encouraged especially with regard to defence products. “Indian products are as good as products anywhere else in the world,” he said.

Crowd-puller

Among the stalls representing defence manufacturing companies and defence public sector companies, including HAL and BEML, an unlikely exhibit by a “military general store”, which supplies uniforms to all armed forces in south India, turned out to be the biggest crowd puller.

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