Celebrating the SSI and MSME story

Celebrating the SSI and MSME story

With more than 95 percent of the Indian pharmaceutical industry falling in the unorganised sector, it would be right to say that small and medium enterprises (MSME) and small scale industries (SSIs) are the crucial backbone of the industry. Various surveys estimate that this segment is responsible for generating 35 percent of industry turnover.

Unfortunately, these smaller players have been ignored and even maligned on occasion. As a result, many of them are today facing a survival crisis. Stringent regulations, lack of financing options, little or no global exposure, poor public image and increasing competition from other low cost nations are some of the crippling factors facing MSMEa and SSIs in this sector.

But even in this challenging environment, a few winners have emerged. These are entrepreneurs and companies who have risen over their peers. Express Pharma’s Anniversary Issue is dedicated to the spirit of the Indian pharma entrepreneur and more specifically, promising MSMEs and SSIs who have it in them to become the success stories of tomorrow. We salute these heroes who have not let their small size limit the size of their dreams and ambitions.

No doubt the Government’s policies and agencies have enough schemes to promote pharma MSMEs and SSIs. Banks and financial institutions have also belatedly realised the potential of these players. But the MSME players too need to change their mindsets. Too often, we hear of MSME players who refuse to ‘grow up’ and scale up to more stringent benchmarks. Too often, we hear of such players taking short cuts in GMP standards, adding to the spurious drugs problem. The ‘black sheep’ may be few, but their impact, unfortunately, is disproportionately large. Unless the MSME segment decides to self-regulate and weed out these elements, the sector will not be able to truly scale the heights it is capable of.

Viveka Roychowdhury