24 Feb 2016, Deccan Chronicle, Visakhapatnam, India

Andhra Pradesh Chambers of commerce and Industry Federation (APCCIF) vice-president G.Sambasiva Rao observed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were at the forefront of innovation, job creation and the overall economy.

They were striving hard to improve business efficiency, but were getting bogged down by the challenges of doing business in the information age and were often spending their resources, fire fighting.

Delivering the inaugural address on Wednesday at the third edition of ‘Start, Manage, Expand: A knowledge-led Small Medium Business Conference’, Mr Rao said, “SMEs are playing a potent role in all sectors – from automobile to shipping and its allied services, like ship breaking and dry docking.”

He also said the upgradation of the tribal people by imparting to them industry-oriented skills would help them enter the mainstream and be part of activities in ancillary units in and around Visakhapatnam.

The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA) was also giving a much needed boost to startup entrepreneurs, extending loans to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh without any collateral guarantee, Mr Sambasiva Rao added.

Founder and chief mentor at Startup Xperts and strong advocate of Digital marketing Shyam Shekar said, “SME enterprises should focus on creating their brand identity, uniqueness (or differentiators), that could be showed in the market. SMEs and Startups can leverage themselves through smart marketing strategies, thereby positioning themselves better than the competition. Effective and smart branding can help win clients and increase revenue and profitability. Also, Startups and SMEs should pursue ‘Digital marketing’ to position themselves as thought leaders in their space. While pursuing digital marketing tactics focus should be on their customers and their needs. Twin strategies should be adopted inbound and outbound.

APCCIF chairman Pydad Krishna Prasad and vice chairman M.Sudheer spoke on the need for technological know-how in current scenario.

Mr. Shyam can be contacted at shyam@startupxperts.com.

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