DOT Institute’s webinar on financial schemes for MSMEs

RBI and finance ministry’s new MSME stimulus measures

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Uday Dhote, director of DIGC
Uday Dhote, director of DIGC

The Mumbai-based DOT Institute of Graphic Communication (DIGC) on 29 May conducted a webinar on a very topical subject, ‘Recent RBI & FM Schemes.’ The webinar presenter was Uday Dhote, director of DIGC and past chairman – finance and taxation of the AIFMP.

The government recently introduced a slew of measures through various schemes, especially for MSME’s to bring the economy back on track and kick start the revival of industries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Ever since the programs were announced by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman as a part of the government’s stimulus packages, there have been many questions and confusion in its applicability. Regional managers of major banks have told several printers that the announced measures are unlikely to benefit them in any way.

Therefore, the DIGC decided to conduct the webinar so that printing businesses could benefit from the announced schemes of the central government, check here to find out the benefits of such schemes. The general impression is that the finance minister’s announcements are mainly government-backed ease of lending measures. Also, the DIGC wanted to help businesses in the print industry present themselves and their cases more effectively to the financial institutions when attempting to benefit from the announced schemes. A well prepared and unified front of print businesses would strengthen their claims to institutions and banks.

 The webinar sought to provide a detailed explanation of the schemes and the guidelines. The eligibility of print businesses, methods of approaching the banks and other financial institutions for consideration under the schemes were detailed. 

A welcome kit featured all the notifications and circulars of the government for the participant to take part more fully in the webinar—and templates of letters to the financial institutions. The webinar opened with the requirements to be considered after restarting operations and the challenges in liquidity generation. The participation included print business owners and several who are reasonably well-versed in finance. A very pertinent question or dilemma was that of saving lives versus livelihoods.

The main presentation by Uday Dhote took on the grave situation facing printers by suggesting approaches to business survival through three levels of progression – liquidity, profitability, growth. Taking up the imperatives facing the key stakeholders involved in reviving a business, Dhote also shed light on some technical banking concepts. Discussing the repo rate versus the lending rate and the relation between change in the RBI repo rate and its effect on the commercial lending rate. Other pertinent points, like the classification of MSME’s and others, were also clarified. He then elaborated on each notification, circular, and scheme with particular emphasis on how each type of benefit could be availed. The webinar culminated with answers to questions from the online participants.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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