SME WORLD Bureau
Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of economies and entrepreneurs are the heroes in the business world. India has a whopping club of over 50 million entrepreneurs and almost 85% of them remain unrecognised, ill-treated, neglected and shunned.
Go to any city, town or village, you come across micro entrepreneurs engaged in energetic activity selling goods and services on pavements, make-shifts shops, kiosks and in residences. They are selling vegetables, fruits, fast food, cigarettes, readymade garments, textiles, eateries, shoes and what not to eke out a living. For India's poor or even the commoner, micro entrepreneurs are like lifelines of survival.
Sadly, even after almost seven decades of independence, we have not been able to come out with a pragmatic policy to organise or regulate these integral components of our racing economy.
We often discuss about our growth chart little realising the power of the micro entrepreneurs who, in fact, are 'delivering' in a true sense and are the actual drivers of economic. They are the real distributors of our small and large producers and can be termed as the formidable force and potentially integrated competitors of any big enterprise.
A micro entrepreneur in India is the most vulnerable one. He doesn't know when the administration hammer would fall on him. His predicament is that he has to fight many battles every single day. Besides procuring and selling, he has to keep watchful eyes on the administration machinery (inspectors, police etc etc.) His life is full of obstacles.
An Indian micro entrepreneur is not well versed with basic management and business skills, technology etc. He has no access to formal finance and has to borrow from professional money lenders at a whopping day-to-day interest. Of course, the mobile revolution has better equipped him with marketing.
Imagine what would happen to India's economy if a hand in help is extended to him. What if he is made to pay to the government exchequer instead of Police and other inspectors who visit him by the day, week or month? The decades-old 'system' perpetuates without a check.
An estimate suggests that in a metro like Delhi alone, business of almost Rupees 500 to 1000 million is transacted everyday throwing to the winds any compliance whatsoever depriving the exchequer of millions every day.
The best part of the story is that the micro entrepreneur is very much willing to come into the government fold provided he is assured that members of the system stop making rounds of these millions of establishments. We must believe that the force of almost 40 million and more micro businessmen and women have the capability to turn around the very face of India's economy. We only need eyes to see and ears to listen.