With the flagship programme of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan introduced by the honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020, the face of the Indian startup ecosystem began changing.
Further, the “Make in India and Made in India” movement proved critical to developing entrepreneurship across the country. As a result, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) started coming into the limelight, and people started understanding their role in the growth of the Indian economy.
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are divided into two categories under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act of 2006. The businesses are further classified depending on their equipment investment and annual revenue. Apart from considerably contributing to economic success, they are the primary job creators with relatively reduced capital expenses. The MSME sector is an ancillary to large enterprises and contributes significantly to socio-economic growth.
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic development. In India, the sector has grown in prominence due to its contribution to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and exports. The sector has also significantly contributed to entrepreneurship development in India, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas.
Any entity with a solid technical hold with secured IP rights will have a competitive edge over the competitors and attract better stakeholders and investors. Owing to this, the government introduced different schemes to uphold the stance of the startups and MSMEs and set up different bodies to take care of the intellectual property rights of these entities. One such organization is Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).
TIFAC is an autonomous agency established in 1988 under the Department of Science and Technology to anticipate technological developments, assess technological trends, and stimulate innovation through networked initiatives in specified areas of national interest. TIFAC strives for the country’s technological development by leveraging technology innovation through persistent and concentrated programmes in close collaboration with industry and academics.
TIFAC took on the monumental challenge of developing a Technology Vision for the country in several emerging technology fields. The Technology Vision 2020 project, directed by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, then Chairman of TIFAC, resulted in a package of 17 documents, sixteen on technology and one on services. It has issued several technology evaluation and foresight studies to the nation during its more than 25-year service.
TIFAC runs various schemes, but specifically, it runs a scheme under the name SRIJAN, which is exclusively for boosting MSMEs.
Scheme : TIFAC – SIDBI, Technology Innovation Fund (SRIJAN Scheme)
TIFAC SRIJAN Scheme, a TIFAC and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) collaborative programme, was launched on November 1, 2010.
Objectives of the scheme
To facilitate the development, demonstration, and commercialization of technology innovation projects pertaining to a new product or process development in order to encourage and promote the development of capabilities in MSMEs to innovate.
To bring high-risk innovations to the market in order to open up opportunities for businesses linked with innovations.
To assist MSMEs in developing, scaling up, demonstrating, and commercializing innovative technology-based projects by providing developmental loans with flexible terms and interest rates to encourage/promote the development/innovation of new technology/process/product and its commercialization.
A maximum of Rs. 1 crore in assistance, up to 80% of the project cost, is given, and any assistance requests worth more than Rs. 1 crore are given preferential consideration.
Businesses or partnerships
Private and public limited companies
The projects under these entities need to require certain criteria for the release of the fund.
The first is that the existing product needs to undergo considerable revisions or upgrades.
Secondly, there must be a significant improvement in the product’s quality, as well as a reduction in the number of process steps, the number of raw materials used, the number of greenhouse gases released, the amount of energy used, the cost of the process, the amount of yield, etc.
Also, to be appropriate for wider domestic applications, imported technology needs to be modified or adjusted.
By FY 2025, India’s economy is most likely to reach $5 trillion, and MSMEs would be essential to that growth. The MSME sector needs an appropriate and regular backup of cash and resources in order to reach this enormous quantity. It goes without saying that the government must play a crucial role in this area by offering this sector the required subsidies and programmes. It is evident that the government is trying to push the
Aatmanirbhar Bharat and other programmes have seen a significant push toward promoting the domestic industry through a variety of methods like subsidies, incentives, and fiscal help. The ultimate goal is to increase domestic companies’ manufacturing and export capacity in order to position them at the hub of global supply networks.
Despite sustained expansion over the past five years, the industry has not yet reached its full potential. The dependence on subpar technology, the reluctance to increase R&D operations, lack of IP awareness and the absence of quality standard certification are the key causes of this slowly accelerating expansion. The concerned sector authorities should plan for an overall development agenda to overcome the existing setbacks.