CNBC and ICICI hold 'Emerging India Forum' in Mumbai

MUMBAI: CNBC TV18 and ICICI Bank have come together to host a unique initiative called The 'Emerging India Forum' for the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.

The aim of this forum is to provide a platform for the SMEs to discuss ways and means to capture opportunities in the present global scenario as well as air their grievances to the government and the relevant audiences.

This forum was held on 2 August in Mumbai and had a host of personalities relevant to the SME space where they discussed various issues related to the growth of SME enterprises in India.

The speakers at the forum were ICICI Bank head retail business V Vaidyanathan, Naishad Parekh (currently on the board of Arvind Mills), All India Small Drug Manufacturers Association president S R Vaidya, CII (Western Region) chairman Gaurav Nanavati and Apparel Export Promotion Council vice chairman Premal Udhani.

CNBC - TV 18 CEO Haresh Chawla said, "SMEs have always been the engine of growth in developing as well as in transition economies. Their role in building a solid industrial base can be gauged from the fact that they represent over 80 percent of industrial enterprises in most developing countries. Keeping in line with their endeavor to initiate dialogue between the industry and decision makers, CNBC-TV18 has this year provided a platform for various small and medium enterprises to voice their opinions."

After agriculture, SMEs are high on banks' investment list. Attractive returns of around eight per cent to 10 per cent have prompted banks to redesign schemes catering to SMEs. ICICI Bank head retail business V Vaidyanathan said, "ICICI Bank has made significant investments in corporate and consumer banking. We are keenly focused on lending to the SME sector. The need of the hour is to define which enterprises fall under the purview of SMEs to enable us to serve them better."

Commenting on ICICI Bank's tie-up with CNBC-TV 18, ICICI Bank Small Enterprises Group head Vijay Chandok said, "This association of ICICI Bank and CNBC TV-18 will charter a new regime for the SME segment. This campaign will give the segment the exposure it always deserved and a platform to strategise for sustenance and growth of the SMEs in the post-2005 era."

The Emerging India initiative - Gearing up for Growth - will later culminate into an awards ceremony to felicitate the most deserving SMEs in different categories in October 2004. As part of the initiative, eminent small and medium scale entrepreneurs and enterprises will be profiled in an ongoing televised series.

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