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Disentangling the Growth of MSMEs

Updated: Feb 28

Small businesses are the backbone of the Indian economy. The 75 million small and medium businesses account for about 35% of employment and 50% of exports, according to Zinnov. They supply crucial products and services to the business, social and government sectors. Small businesses are so interconnected to the rest of the economy, and society at large, that it’s fair to say that when small businesses do well, the economy does well, and when they don’t, the economy suffers. To borrow from a phrase attributed to a General Motors executive, what is good for small businesses is good for India, and vice versa.

It is one of the reasons why, when the pandemic struck the country in 2020, there was an unprecedented focus on small businesses. Some of the biggest measures that were announced by the government, irrespective of their effectiveness or execution, were aimed at this segment. During this period, business leaders, policymakers, analysts and journalists who were trying to spot early signs of the damage of the pandemic, (and more recently to see if there are signs of recovery) looked at questions such as: How were small businesses doing? At what capacity are they operating? Do they have a financial runway? And what are their revenues and profits?

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