Entrepreneurship culture key to state’s development: Guv

IMPHAL, 10th Oct: Governor Dr Najma Heptulla inaugurated a one-day Conclave of Local Craft Entrepreneurs, Traditional Craftsmen and MSMEs on the topic ‘Promoting Entrepreneurship and Harnessing Untapped Potential of Geographical Indications of Manipur’ at Hotel Classic Grande here on Thursday.
The conclave was organised by Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans and Craftsmen (MEETAC), an autonomous body under Department of Commerce and Industries, in association with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PHDCCI) to deliberate on Startup India, Standup India, Government E-market place and Geographical Indications.
Speaking at the event, Dr Heptulla complimented the organisers for their effort and commitment towards uplifting craft entrepreneurs, traditional artisans and craftsmen in Manipur, stating that traditional artisans in the handicraft industry of the state have struggled for long due to lack of patronage.
She admitted that the charm of hand-woven fabric prepared by weavers of the state never fades and that is why there is more awareness amongst the people about such products.
She conveyed that to introduce these artisans to newer markets and ensure shifting in customer preference for sustainable products, the state government has initiated the Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans & Craftsmen (MEETAC) in 2018 with the aim of reviving the lives of artisans by developing entrepreneurial competencies amongst them. She elaborated that the mission concentrates on product development to capture the needs of the younger generation, large and high-end markets with a special focus on exports. New articles, collections and clothing line through product diversification in collaboration with well-known institutions like National Institute of Design, Central India Regional Council (CIRC) and Indian Institute of Packaging will be introduced through MEETAC, she added.
The Governor also informed that PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industries (PHDCCI) which is the National Apex Chamber working at the grassroots level with national and international linkage has joined hands with MEETAC to promote entrepreneurship in the state.
She further informed that the chamber acts as a catalyst in the promotion of industry, trade and entrepreneurship and through its research-based policy advocacy role, positive impacts on the economic growth and development of the nation. She expressed her optimism that MEETAC with PHDCCI would be in a position to create a long lasting impact on the economy of the state, particularly in the craft sector. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched brand names like ‘Make-in-India’ to make the country an economic powerhouse along with programmes like Startup and Standup India. Startups are important for economic growth of a nation and one of the main advantages of Startups is that it creates new jobs. It is necessary to develop an entrepreneurship culture in the state to deliver quality products to the consumers for a sustainable business. Similarly, Standup India scheme ensures that women entrepreneurs, an important cog in the craft sector of Manipur, have a fair chance for setting up their own business, she explained.
Acknowledging that rural folks in various parts of the state possess unique skill and expertise to produce hand crafted products like handicrafts, jewelleries, textiles other related products; Dr Najma Heptulla stated that Geographical Indications (GI) are tightly interwoven into rural lives which employ traditional methods, practices and know-how to produce these goods. With the protection assured by GI registration, pirates and counterfeiters cannot encroach on the markets and the consumers are guaranteed of the genuineness of the product and quality assurance, she added.
Presiding over the inaugural function, Textiles, Commerce & Industries minister Th Biswajit stated that Providing Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has been another significant step of the present government and handicrafts sector has got an opportunity to show its product strength from the rural and urban area. He informed that those artisans and their Self Help Groups or federations with legal identity, who can aggregate women artisans and micro-entrepreneurs, should register themselves as "Seller" on Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
He stated that GeM is a one-stop Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to facilitate online procurement of commonly used goods and services required by various government departments /organizations/PSUs. GeM provides local entrepreneurs a one-stop shop for marketing with minimal efforts, he continued.
The conclave was also attended by Dr DK Agarwal, PHDCCI president; Dr Mahesh Y Reddy, secretary general; Anurag Bajpai, MEETAC CEO; Dr HP Kumar, former chairman and managing director (NSIC); Sanjay Joseph, Deputy CEO (Government E-Marketplace); officials of Ministry of MSME, SIDBI, Bank of Baroda; Quality Council of India; Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks; National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad; founder of Biswajit Sarkar & Associates, an expert in Geographical Indications; officials of PHDCCI; senior officials of the state government; local craft entrepreneurs; representatives of MSMEs; students of MBA and Department of Entrepreneurship of Manipur University.

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