The Engineering Industrial Promoted Entrepreneurship Club (EIPEC) and Women Industrial Promoted Entrepreneurship Club (WIPEC) have been set up to enable industrialists to make the most of the cluster approach.

Seven months ago the SIPEC (STED Industrial Promoted Entrepreneurship Club) with membership of fabrication units was set up by the MSMEDI (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute) and VIT University, with support from the R.K. Charitable Trust.

These clubs are now preparing themselves for NSIC (National Small Industries Corporation) registration to expand the scope of operations of their respective member industrial units; in doing so, they will be deemed eligible to take up sub-contracting works for the Golden Rock Workshop and public sector units, including the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, the Oil and Natural Gas Commission and the Indian Oil Corporation.

At a meeting organised by the R.K. Charitable Trust to mark the inauguration of the new clubs, the audience, mostly comprising vendors of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), were sensitised to the enormous business opportunities inherent in the Golden Rock Railway Workshop’s transition to manufacture of stainless steel wagons and its scaling up of production to 1,000 wagons per year, from 600.

Inaugurating the new clubs, T.V. Krishnan, Additional General Manager – Outsourcing, BHEL, said that with the power sector booming despite the economic recession, vendors, particularly women vendors, can derive maximum benefits through cluster approach by way of establishment of common service centres, collecting raw materials, and delivering finished components. The BHEL was keen on consistency in the performance of vendors.

Mr. Krishnan handed over certificates to participants of the MSMEDI’s ESDP (Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme) who had undergone training in welding.

N. Srinivasulu, Assistant Director, MSMEDI, Chennai, said there was immense scope for the formation of more such E-clubs. The government supports cluster development through a number of schemes for establishing common testing facilities and design centres. As a team, industrialists can generate new ideas for enhancing capabilities, he said.

R. Baskaran, General Manager, District Industries Centre, attributed the industrial progress of Tiruppur to the cluster approach. In a cluster, member units can derive advantage by positioning themselves to bid for large-scale orders through concentrating on particular tasks in the chain of activities, thereby propelling productivity, he noted.

P. Sethumathavan, Senior Section Engineer, Golden Rock Railway Workshop, explained the procedures involved in the tender process for sub-contracting components manufacture for the stainless steel wagons. N. Kanagasabapathy, Managing Trustee, said there was enormous scope to integrate rural women into entrepreneurship.

C. Ramaswamy Desai, Adviser, E-Club, presented an overview of the E-Club initiative.