With the changing dynamics of the society and everything around us, the way we live, work, and do things in our day-to-day lives is also changing. The continuous change is causing disruption across industries at various levels which are further impacting all the industries, organisations, and its people. So, to know the thought process of the existing business leaders and new entrants on how they will manage “Business Beyond 2020,” we at CEO BottomLine conducted a series of interviews with MSME and SME Association leaders.
As a part of the series, “Business Beyond 2020,” we got into a conversation with Mr. R. Ramamurthy the President of CODISSIA – The Coimbatore District Small Scale Industries Association to understand the world of MSMEs and their future. “Ours is the largest Association in India and this is our 50th year of existence with which CODISSIA is celebrating its Golden Jubilee year” adds Mr. Ramamurthy.
Incepted in 1969, CODISSIA has successfully come a long way with the strong belief in ‘teamwork.’ “Our success mantra behind where we stand today is based on one thought which is ‘teamwork always succeeds’. We are a great team and all of us are into different activities,” says Mr. Ramamurthy. The Association consists of 15 office bearers and around 100 Executive Committee Member team. The 15 office bearers meet every Monday to discuss problems that have occurred during the week and sort it out. Every Monday’s discussion is then shared during the Executive Committee meeting which occurs every forth Friday. Overall, the Association members conduct 12 meetings and an AGM which ensures the systematic operation of the Association and its members.
Which industries do the organisations associated with CODISSIA belong to?
“Coimbatore is known for manufacturing and it has the largest number of micro and small scale companies in India. Of these companies, while most of them belong to the manufacturing industry, there are a few organisations that supply products to larger companies through job orders. The specialty of the city is that it has presence in almost all verticals – Machinery, Forgings, Castings, Plastics, and others. Companies in Coimbatore do business with larger companies present in Coimbatore, Bangalore and Chennai, but it terms of developing own products, we are pioneers in Motor Pump Sets and products like Ventilators have been invented in Coimbatore. Around 30-40 per cent of Coimbatore MSMEs develop indigenous products and approximately, 60-70 per cent deal with supply chain management to corporates. And there are many companies that are doing business in two different sectors,” Mr. Ramamurthy answers with confidence.
Are companies in Coimbatore aspired to become a brand?
Branding isn’t an easy work. To ensure branding a company needs financial back-up. In micro and small scale industries, scaling is a real challenge. Somehow we are entering into that and we all dependent on our own equity, unlike PSUs that operate out of shareholder’s money. Our entire money is spent in operating and scaling hence, there’s no fund left for branding, Mr. Ramammurthy answered.
What are the recent or upcoming achievements of CODISSIA?
“We have been awarded for having the first Defence Innovation Center in the country. This December, we will receive the Incubation certificate post which the center will be launched which will be known as CODISSIA Defence Innovation and Atal Incubation Center. The uniqueness about the center is that under the Ministry of Defence we will be innovating products for Defence. Through this new venture, MSMEs will benefit directly,” says the President of CODISSIA.
Are industrial automation and other transformations going to impact MSME Owners?
According to Mr. Ramamurthy, “I don’t think anything will impact MSMEs. If MSMEs are not there, the larger companies cannot exist because of the cost factor. The micro and small manufacturing companies cannot be substituted no matter what automation occurs. The chain will always be there and we don’t see a threat in that. But if the chain breaks then the manufacturing industry in India would go into a question mark state.”
An advice that you would like to give the MSMEs
“Managing business in 2020 and in the future will involve tremendous transformations and organisations will have to adapt the changes. I always say, one has to compare themselves with a fish during a storm. When there’s a storm, the fish somehow swims and comes out, it’s similar with the small scale industries, now we are undergoing a storm-like situation, we should be optimistic and we will definitely come out of the situation,” shares Mr. Ramamurthy.