Small enterprises get a designer touch

April 27, 2013 12:00 am | Updated 06:07 am IST - Thrissur:

Their products can get a facelift under the Design Clinic Scheme of the Union government

Corporates have all along looked at micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with a smirk — they cannot digest their presence nor do they allow the latter to make their presence felt in the market. Although 50 per cent of the industrial sector in the country comprises MSMEs, their contribution to productivity is negligible — less than 0.5 per cent.

The corporates easily hold sway in the market because the MSMEs cannot afford to hire talented designers whose expertise is paramount in making the products look attractive and trendy. It is in such a scenario that the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has stepped in to offer a helping hand to the MSMEs. The MSMEs, through the Ministry’s Design Clinic Scheme (DCS), can now approach good designers to give a facelift to their products. The Ministry will meet 60 per cent of the expense for the exercise.

The scheme, implemented by the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, is intended to enhance the competency of the micro, small, and medium enterprises through design intervention strategies. It enables the MSMEs to share a common platform with reputed designers.

‘Design is an investment, not a cost’ was the slogan of the orientation programme conducted by the NID, Ahmedabad, for the MSMEs here on Friday.

“Design has for long been considered the privilege of the elite. Small enterprises often shy away from design innovations as it is expensive. Awareness about design is low in the sector,” Shashank Mehta, Director, DCS, MSME, said. It’s the first time such a clinic has been organised in the State. The implementation of the scheme is expected to bring about a paradigm shift in the manufacturing competency of the MSME sector with improved products, K.P. Raveendran, Managing Director of the Kerala Furniture Consortium, who organised the orientation programme along with the DCS-MSME (South Zone), said. It is a great opportunity for small enterprises to redesign their product range, G. Balachandran, Chairman of the Coir Board, said. Being a socially responsive and logical society, Kerala should think about efficient and economic use of land and natural resources, cartoonist E.P. Unny said.

“Kerala is losing many chances owing to lack of professionalism and planning. We need to design products and structures with a futuristic vision as land and resources are becoming scarce,” he said.

Through the design awareness programme, the MSMEs are exposed to design thinking and processes resulting in creative, innovative, and futuristic approach towards products, processes, and operations, Ravi Sanker, DCS, MSME (South), said.

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