Wednesday, February 5, 2014

.. the foundation well laid

This unique design intervention scheme for the country's large micro, small and medium enterprises was launched by the ministry of MSMEs, Government of India, on 17th February, 2010. We will soon be completing four years of its implementation.  This was the most challenging period for the implementation team to reach out to the MSMEs, explain and convince them about the benefits of design, and prepare them to join and participate in different programmes of the scheme. Design has emerged as one of the crucial component for the growth and the future of this large MSME sector and thus the overall economy of the country. And as one of the country's largest and diverse industry sector, MSMEs demand customised and contextual solutions. Successful implementation of the scheme is thus crucial for the growth of this sector.

Through the organiation of DAS, DAPs and Design Project the Scheme has been able to reach out to most parts of the country. 
The scheme has been able to reach out to over 15000 MSME units across the country to sensitize them about the benefits of design. Programmes have been organised in 28 states and 4 UTs of the country.

Over these last four years, the team has covered fairly good ground to create the much needed awareness about the benefits of design as well as that of the scheme. Sincere efforts, constant interaction with the stakeholders, systematic  and transparent  administrative process, openness of the team to learn, refine and improve the system; coupled with success stories of the benefits gained by the MSMEs, have resulted in creating the much needed confidence and trust among its stakeholders, especially the MSMEs. The team members have reached out to the industries through individually  meeting them at their factories/units, actively participating in different industry events and exhibitions and constantly engaging and interacting with them through mails and personal contacts.

Constant exposure through variety of different promotional efforts, advertisements have helped the scheme to reach out to the MSMEs. Also media across the country has helped take the me message of design to the needy MSMEs
Over 1400 designers/ design firms, 1500 MSME units and over 230 MSME associations are now active members of the scheme. The scheme has also succeeded in creating industry-academia linkage with over 47 design institutes and engineering colleges registered with the scheme and actively participating in taking up student design projects as well as also sharing their experiences through participating in Design Awareness Seminars and Design Awareness programmes. Besides these, various government organisations, NGOs have come forward to organise design awareness programmes for the MSME clusters.  Also different state governments, banks and large organisations have contributed on behalf of MSME clusters to organise the programmes.

Field executives have been visiting different clusters to meet with individual MSME units to explain them the benefits of design. Also zonal offices have been participating in different exhibitions and events to showcase the outcomes of the scheme as well as meet with the participating MSMEs to explain them the details of the scheme

The scheme has thus succeeded in creating the much needed platform for constant and continuous interaction among its different stakeholders, most importantly between the MSME and the designer/s. These efforts have helped create a good foundation to launch further, longer duration and more effective design intervention programmes through design projects, cluster based handholding support etc.  With the foundation now well laid,  the efforts to achieve the core objectives of the scheme, that is to help MSMEs move up the value chain is sure to gain further momentum. 

Looking at these progress, the government of India, in its 12th five year plan has announced the continuation of the scheme with increased budget outlay.