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.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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