Cluster programmes to make SMEs competitive

COIMBATORE, MARCH 24 . The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launched two cluster projects here recently for the small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

While one of the two identified clusters is a heterogeneous one, the other is a vertical cluster.

The heterogeneous cluster consists of 10 units located at the SIDCO (Small Industries Development Corporation) Industrial Estate, Kurichi, and the vertical cluster consists of 10 vendors of Pricol (CII-Proicol SME Vertical Cluster). Most of the vertical cluster members are into plastic component manufacturing.

Speaking at the launch of the projects here, the Chairman of the SME Sub-Committee, CII (Southern Region), C.R. Swaminathan, said that the objective of this 18-month programme was to "handhold" the SMEs to make them competitive in terms of energy management, manufacturing excellence, total cost and technology management, and environment management.

The Small Industries Development Bank of India had come forward to support these two clusters, he added.

Experts/counsellors would visit the units regularly to conduct audits respective to their domain and figure out the possible areas where the organisations required assistance. Efficient measures needed by these would be identified and corrective actions initiated.

By the end of the project, the units would reap benefits in terms of cost savings, improved product quality, optimised production process and reduced energy bills. Three more vertical clusters planned here, would be launched probably in six months, he said.

The CII - Southern Region planned to take up a survey on export potential for the SMEs. The Chairman of the CII National Committee on Quality, and Chairman and Managing Director of Sona Koyo Steering Systems, Dr. Surinder Kapur, launched the two clusters.

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