CII launches ‘Digital Saksham’ initiative with Mastercard and National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ni-msme)

New Delhi: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today announced a strategic MoU with Mastercard and National Institute for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (ni-msme) an organisation of Ministry of MSME, Government of India to launch the Digital Saksham Initiative – an expansive program designed to strengthen the competitiveness of MSMEs through digital know-how and acceptance.

This collaboration aims to educate and train micro and small business owners and entrepreneurs enabling them to integrate into the digital economy and access credit, expand their market access, diversify their customer base, digitize their financial operations and solidify their supply chain. The ultimate objective is to unlock the full potential of MSMEs in India, measured by greater profitability and financial resilience.

“We need to make 50% of the growth of the Indian economy come from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, raise its contribution to exports to 60% and create 5 crore new jobs. To realize this potential– micro and small businesses need to become increasingly competitive in a changing marketplace. I am pleased to note that the project Digital Saksham by CII, Mastercard and ni-msme entails a scale of reaching out to more than 3 lakh MSMEs in 25 cities including rural and peri-urban clusters. This will help drive systemic transformation and further accelerate achievements towards meeting our goals and ensure financial inclusion”. stated Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for MSMEs and Road Transport and Highways of India, while speaking at the 17th Global SME Business Summit 2020, virtually, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in partnership with the Ministry of MSME, GOI.

“I congratulate the Digitalsaksham project with mastercard and Ni-msme, I’ll suggest the CII team to engage with MSMEs further on helping MSMEs become digital” – Mr A K Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of MSME.

Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, stated that the Digital Saksham initiative will focus on activating CII’s vast membership base which includes 67% of MSMEs to upskill specially the micro and small businesses. Through a combination of CII’s broad footprint with 67 offices across the country and collaboration with ni-msme, CII will target key supply chains and use a cluster approach to deliver relevant skills know-how to the last mile entrepreneur. CII will also engage value chain anchors in the delivery of training through their supply chains. “We have an ambitious outreach target on creating awarness on digital financial literacy for 3 lakhs micro and small business who will attain the knowledge and access to personal finance strategies and digital financial instruments through this intervention which will spread across 25 cities in 7 states”. He added

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said “Small businesses play an enormous role in rebuilding local communities and supporting economic recovery. It is critical that we look for solutions that don’t just focus on how we can support SMEs, but also those that are designed to enable SMEs to support themselves. Towards this goal, Mastercard is delighted to partner with the Government of India via the National Institute for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (ni-msme) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to launch the Digital Saksham initiative. The program is an extension of Mastercard’s global and India commitment to empower, enable, and enhance small entrepreneurs making them more competitive.”

The implementation of the project is proposed from January 2021 and execution of trainings among the MSMEs from June 2021, confirmed Ms Amita Sarkar, DDG, CII and Ms Alison L. Eskesen, Vice President, Mastercard’s Center For Inclusive Growth.

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